Home Garden Donation Program

For ten years, the TVUUC Community Garden has donated fresh, chemical- free fruits and vegetables to those in our community who are food insecure. This year, we are expanding the program to include fruits and vegetables that members and friends of the church grow in their own home gardens.

Home garden harvests will be combined with harvests from the Community Garden and delivered to Knoxville Bridge Refugee Services.

Bridge Refugee Services helps refugees resettling in East Tennessee find a secure path towards self-sufficiency and fulfilling their American dreams within a supportive community. TVUUC has been involved with Bridge services in Knoxville for many years. The Bridge office in Knoxville provides help to 80 families! Any amount of produce you can donate will be helpful – a bushelful, a basketful, a handful.

There are many, many ways to garden – many methods, many techniques, many opinions. There is no “right” way to garden – only options. There are lots of resources available, too – friends, books, websites. This TVUUC guide is very simple and may help you get started.

Please join your TVUUC family in growing food for those in need.

Questions? No problem – contact Barbara Lamm BarbLamm@aol.com

What to Grow

Below is a list of vegetables commonly grown in our area and that are best suited for the TVUUC Garden Donation Program. Chemical-free food is grown with no pesticides, no herbicides, no fungicides and no chemical fertilizers.


Melons – small
Squashes – including zucchini
Sweet Potatoes

Spring and Fall

Bok Choy
Brussels Sprouts
Head Lettuce


How to Grow

Gardening in Food-Safe Lumber Beds

Untreated Lumber – Pine, Cedar, Redwood, Fir, Locust – in our area, when these types of lumber are in contact with the ground, they generally last only a few years. Longevity can be extended by applying non-toxic stains – polywheyand dynoseal.

Treated Lumber – Not used in the TVUUC Community Garden – information

Railroad Ties – The EPA has denounced these repurposed barriers as toxic and not recommended for the garden. information

Pallet Lumber– Heat Treated lumber only – look for the HT stamp. information

Cedar– Rot-resistant, but contact with the ground/soil will eventually cause decay. Longevity can be extended by applying non-toxic stains – polywheyand dynoseal.

Recycled Plastic Lumber – Commonly made from milk jugs – lasts for many years

CompositeLumber– Made of recycled materials – slow to deteriorate – USDA organic farming certification program allows composite lumber

Gardening in Food-Safe Containers

Please do NOT use these types of Beds / Containers

Seeds and Seedlings

Some Local Sources

• Ace Hardware
• Mayo Garden Center
• Lowes
• Home Depot
• Grocery Stores
• Walmart
• Dollar Stores
• Tractor Supply
• Farmers Coop
• Stanley’s Greenhouse
• Thress Nursery Gardens
• Knoxville Seed & Greenhouse

5 Tips

Additional Information

Frost Dates for our Area, Zone 7

Last Spring frost date: April 15     First Fall frost date: November 15

When to Plant Chart