The Kelley Street Garden

After positive results from an initial garden survey to residents in 2019, HRHA began moving forward with a garden program for individuals and families living in Franklin Heights. We followed up with families in summer 2020 and then secured a $5,000 grant through JMU Dining and the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities.

We launched the Kelley Street garden on April 17, 2021 with the investment and support of an incredible array of community partners (below). All beds have been claimed and we held a planting day alongside Central Shenandoah Valley Master Gardeners on May 15, 2021. Master Gardeners have been on site a few times each month through the summer to support residents. Major anchor events were heled throughout the season, including a ‘Dinner in the Garden’ in July featuring a live cooking demo and a closing Fall Cookout in October. Both events were sponsored by the JMU Dining Services team.

Limited garden boxes are available for the 2022 gardening season! For those residents who are interested please fill out an interest form.

This garden has been made possible through the generous support from a diverse array of community organizations and individuals. We are incredibly grateful!
Jones Garden Logo

We are honored to take on the responsibility of constructing raised beds for HRHA’s Kelley Street garden. Supporting our local community in any effort to increase fresh food access is our deepest pleasure. We are so excited to see this project happen!

We are excited to bring hands on learning experiences to the garden site, sharing information on topics like soil testing, composting, vegetables and flowers that grow well in our area and of course pest management. Mostly however, we want to be available on a regular basis to provide information and answer questions that residents have about their gardening experience.

Through Aramark Building Communities and Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, JMU Dining was able to provide financial assistance with this incredible project. Fresh food is a crucial piece of everyone’s diet and we were glad to aid in a project that provides families with direct access. We are extremely eager to see the outcome!

Black Bear Composting is excited to contribute finished compost to the garden. It’s part of the circular economy in Harrisonburg where local residents and restaurants capture their food scraps for composting, which then gets returned to the community to grow more food. Gardening builds community.

The Kelley Street Garden – In the News
Resident Reflections

My son came out of his shell. I could not have done that for him by myself. It boosted his self esteem. He felt proud. To see him grow, find certainty, feel proud of peppers and tomatoes. That was awesome.

I had good coaching and learned not to over plant and to space things. I enjoyed all the produce from the garden. I shared with friends and made lots of zucchini bread.

I loved the size of my tomatoes. My family ate everything we grew. I wish I could have 2 boxes next year!

I learned how to keep the garden going through the seasons.  Next year I want half flowers and half veggies!

I enjoyed the garden. The good thing is we produced a lot. Gained a lot of freedom. Appreciated the help greatly

A Season of Gardening – Summer 2021 Photos
hrha planting day

HRHA’s Executive Director Michael Wong and Maintenance Manager Duane meet on a cold February afternoon with members of the Central Shenandoah Valley Master Gardeners to discuss garden ideas.
February 2021

Volunteers build garden boxes, fill boxes with soil, and help with the Kelley Street garden April 17 during community build day

Volunteers and community partners build boxes, lay fabric, and fill beds with soil.
April 17, 2021

hrha planting day

Jones Garden Inc. Director Naomi Jones works with team member Rebecca and HRHA resident Cherie to spread wood chips for garden pathways.
April 17, 2021

hrha planting day

The results of hours of hard work from volunteers, HRHA staff, community partners, and residents.
April 17, 2021

hrha planting day

Garden Planting Day.
May 15, 2021

The Kelley Street Garden. Planted and ready for a summer of good food and community.
May 17, 2021

hrha planting day

Master Gardeners Lisa and Karen work with Kelley Street gardeners during a drop in session.
June 26, 2021

HRHA Resident and Gardener Justice (6) waters his garden box.
Photo by Daniel Lin – Daily News Record
July 24, 2021

JMU Dining Services Executive Chef James Routhier makes Spanish rice during the cooking demonstration at “Dinner at the Garden”
Photo by Daniel Lin – Daily News Record
July 24, 2021

hrha planting day

HRHA residents, gardeners, staff, board members, JMU Dining partners, and community supporters share a meal together during “Dinner at the Garden”
July 24, 2021

HRHA resident Kamal with some of his tomatoes.
August 2021

HRHA residents, gardeners, JMU Dining, and community partners celebrated the end of the garden season at a Fall Cookout Celebration. Thank you JMU Dining for catering!
October 16, 2021