Starting Monday August 3, 2020!
Solidarity Gardens C-U is offering its own produce collection locations for your fresh garden surplus-
TO FEED THOSE IN NEED!
East Urbana Location: Sola Gratia Farm 2200 S Philo Rd
West Urbana Location: Channing-Murray Foundation 1209 W Oregon St.
I want to help! What do I do?
We’re so glad you’re interested in the project! Check out this page, where you can sign up to volunteer in whatever ways are best for you! If you’re looking for quick, immediate jobs, check out the Job Board!
I’m already working on this project, but I need help! What do I do?
Depending on the type of help you need, you have some options!
- For one-off jobs, you can post on the Job Board, which will allow a volunteer to reach out to you!
- For garden consulting or a repeated job that you need done, reach out to us at [email protected] or (847) 306-9442 and we’ll get you set up!
If you have any questions, or are unsure about where your request fits, feel free to contact us as well!
I need food, can this project help me?
Yes!! Check what’s being offered by gardeners on the Produce Board and request what you would like! If you are a representative of a group that might need fresh or lightly-processed produce, feel free to reach out to [email protected].
I signed up to volunteer, but I haven’t heard anything back yet!
We’re sorry! We’re doing our best to get every volunteer hooked up with an opportunity. Rest assured we will get back to you as soon as we can!
If you have a question and need an immediate answer, the best time to contact us via [email protected] or (847) 306-9442 is during Fiona’s “office hours:”
M: 2-4:30 W: 1-4:30 F: 8-10
How do I start gardening for this project?
If you already have a garden space and are confident in managing it, but would like to include some plants for this initiative, feel free to request whatever extra supplies you need -- seeds, seedlings, or tools -- from our request list! You’ll be able to set a time to pick up the supplies you’re requested from Cunningham Township Supervisor’s Office (205 W. Green Street).
If you’d like to get involved with one of our community garden spaces, let us know on our volunteer page!
What should I plant in my garden?
Great question! Here are some crops that our neighbors have really appreciated in the past:
- Tomatoes!!! All varieties!
- Cooking greens (collards, chard, etc.)
- Green beans
- Green peppers
I can’t set up my own garden -- how else can I help?
We’re always in need of more volunteers who are willing to help work the land that others have kindly donated! Select the option “I can help dig/weed/plant in a community garden” on our volunteer form and we will get you connected with a garden in need of a gardener.
If you have some gardening experience and would like to mentor an aspiring gardener, we can connect you with someone! Select “I can mentor people on gardening” on our volunteer form.
How do I donate tools/plant starts?
Tools can be donated at the driveway of Sola Gratia Farm (2200 South Philo Road, Urbana)! We are collecting donations underneath a banner set up just to the left of the driveway about 100 feet past the Sola Gratia Farm sign.
Plant starts can be donated at the Cunningham Township Garden (205 W. Green Street, Urbana)! You can put them anywhere among the beds. Currently this location can only be reached by the alley between Race and Cedar Streets (just past the Magic Needle if you are going South on Race). Please do not come into the building! If you are unsure of the location, feel free to call at (847) 306-9442.
How do I donate produce?
Check out this post about how best to donate produce!
Hello all you avid gardeners and generous neighbors!
Over the last few weeks many organizers have been discussing the best ways to provide produce donation opportunities to address food-insecurity through Solidarity Gardens-CU. We want to find the best ways to share surplus that are safe for growers, consumers, and the service providers (food pantries/kitchens). We're scheming up a lot of ways for you to donate!
Just for some clarification, Solidarity Gardens-CU (SGCU) is an initiative supported by many organizations and neighbors. SGCU is not its own legal entity, but rather an idea, that everyone can own and grow with their unique skills. So if you have an idea about how to address food insecurity with our collective garden surplus, please reach out! [email protected]
Things to keep in mind if you attend to grow and share produce:
- Before harvesting produce, clean and sanitize the following: hands, harvest knife/clippers, and produce receptacle.
- While community transmission of COVID-19 is in progress, a mask should be worn by person(s) harvesting, transporting and distributing produce.
- Before donating produce, create and attach a sign that reads, “Not ready for use, wash and prepare before eating”.
As we build capacity through the growing season, we hope to offer more of our own donation stations for distributing produce to those experiencing the most hunger in Champaign-Urbana. This system is being built by organizers from Channing-Murray Foundation, The Cunningham Township Supervisors Office, Urbana Park District, and Sola Gratia Farm. In the meantime, we offer guidance on how you can share your produce today!
CU ORGANIZATIONS JOIN TOGETHER TO LAUNCH SOLIDARITY GARDENS CU TO ADDRESS FOOD DISRUPTION AND INSECURITY DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND BEYOND
Individuals and organizations are encouraged and empowered to plant gardens throughout the Champaign-Urbana area and donate use of land, garden supplies, and expertise through a newly launched initiative, Solidarity Gardens CU, in order to address food disruptions and insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Modeled after the WWII-era Victory Gardens, Solidarity Gardens is being launched on June 3, 2020 by a network of area organizations and individuals throughout the Champaign-Urbana area.
With help from the broader community, Solidarity Gardens CU will be offering free seeds, seedlings, tools, soil, containers, miscellaneous supplies, gardening expertise, and educational resources to any interested party in the Champaign-Urbana area, and will then collect, process, and redistribute donated produce to community members who are facing economic and food access challenges through the Solidarity Gardens CU Distribution Network. Participants will receive a Solidarity Garden yard sign, donated by Cunningham Township, to acknowledge their effort. The initiative is also looking for groups to adopt garden plots donated by the Urbana Park District and Champaign Park District.
To become involved, go to http://www.solidarity-gardens-cu.org where you can indicate your interest in participating (garden, offer expertise, donate use of land, containers, etc.) and/or what resources you need (tilling, tools, soil, seeds, misc. supplies, expertise, etc.). Instructions regarding pickup and delivery will be sent to individuals following registration via the website. The initiative also seeks funding to offset costs; donations may be made at http://donate.solidarity-gardens-cu.org.
On Wednesday, June 3, the first distribution of seeds, seedlings, and containers was delivered to extremely low-income families, identified by Cunningham Township, through Channing-Murray Foundation’s Bucket Brigade, a program delivering essential grocery items to Urbana residents in need. The Bucket Brigade will continue to distribute gardening supplies to interested individuals in the coming weeks.
The following pick-up locations will be open to individuals interested in gardening, while supplies last:
205 West Green Street, Urbana
- Mondays and Wednesday from 1 to 4:30p
- Fridays from 8a to 10:30a
Sola Gratia Pay-What-You-Can Market (along with CU Public Health Mobile Services)
Cornerstone Fellowship, 1101 E. Colorado Ave, Urbana
- Every Friday from 1p to 3p (beginning June 5)
Carle Mobile Health Clinic
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays (beginning June 9)
Various Locations (see below for next week’s schedule)
- Tuesday, June 9 from 8a to noon
Mount Calvary Baptist Church, 1601 W. Bloomington Road, Champaign
- Wednesday, June 10 from 9a to 4p
Salt & Light, 1819 Philo Road, Urbana
- Thursday, June 11 from 9a to 4p
Illinois Worknet Building, 1307 N. Mattis Avenue, Champaign
The full schedule for the Carle Mobile Health Clinic can be found at
With some of the best soil in the world and a rising food insecurity rate, now is the time to transition more of our soil into food production for our community. We have folks with time and a willingness to learn; neighbors with gardening knowledge but lack tools and yards; residents with land, tools, and expertise who are interested in teaching others and sharing surplus production; and a team of leaders ready to build and support this network. Solidarity Gardens is a timely matchmaking effort of knowledge, need, and resources to empower, connect, and feed our community.
— Traci Barkley, Director, Sola Gratia Farm
Our low income neighbors were already surviving off $6.40 in food subsidies per day. With the pandemic, we are concerned more and more people will struggle to eat and to eat healthy. Solidarity Gardens CU is a way we can come together to help each other in this difficult time.
— Danielle Chynoweth, Cunningham Township Supervisor
The Solidarity Gardens CU partners include Cunningham Township, Channing Murray Foundation, Sola Gratia Farm, Carle, Urbana Free Library, University of Illinois Extension, University of Illinois School of Social Work, Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, Four Osprey/Champaign-Urbana City Farms, Urbana Park District, Champaign Park District, Urbana School District, Cu Public Health District, McKinley Foundation, First Followers, City of Urbana, and Lierman Community Gardens.
For more information and to become involved, visit http://www.solidarity-gardens-cu.org, contact [email protected], or call 847.306.9442. To donate funds, visit http://donate.solidarity-gardens-cu.org.