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Articles and Press about our Garden



Another very nice article about our Garden was published recently in the local e-newsletter, Albany Patch, on October 13th, 2012 by Mary Flaherty, titled "USDA Volunteers Grow Food for the Hungry in Albany"


Last year's article:

(linked with permission)



Article ID: 1411719

Published on June 20, 2010

West County Times (Richmond, CA)



[PARTIAL ARTICLE, see link below to access full article]


Rebecca Haussmann knelt down into a row of lettuce and hovered above the soil. "You want them while they're still tight so you want to harvest them before they open," she said. Department of Agriculture program raises food and nutrition awareness


Haussmann pulled out a few leaves of lettuce as though she had been doing it her whole life.


"You have to harvest zucchini, pinch the basil. They don't wait. You learn timing...


[read full article at Gardening for the people – East Bay Times]


April 7, 2010



SUBJECT:      Secretary Vilsack's People's Garden Initiative

TO:      ARS-All 

FROM:        Kevin Hackett, National Program Leader 


Matt Smith, National Program Leader

Sandy Miller-Hays, Director, Information Staff

Stephanie Ritchie, National Agricultural Library

Secretary Vilsack's People's Garden Initiative asks all USDA employees worldwide to consider establishing or supporting a garden at their USDA facility or location, or in their community nearby.  This was reinforced in a March 26, 2010, memorandum from Dr. Knipling to the Administrator's Council, encouraging all Areas to become involved in that effort.   

We are likewise encouraging all employees to work with the leaders at your location and laboratory and take the initiative to participate in a local employee team to explore creative thinking about a local garden.  Potential types of involvement are as varied as one's imagination, from a vegetable garden with produce contributed to charities in need, a rain garden to mitigate runoff, or a native plants pollinator garden to show how biodiversity can benefit our environment.  ARS can also showcase the products of our own research such as variety or cultivar releases of vegetable, fruit, nursery, floral, and agronomic crops.  If your particular laboratory or location is not involved in this kind of research, you might seek a source of plant material from another ARS laboratory. 


The goals of this effort are community benefit, collaboration, and sustainability.  Already there are over 180 USDA-associated People's Gardens sites across the country and even some at overseas embassies.  This includes ARS gardens at several locations, each different and appropriate to their site.  Examples include:


Weslaco, Texas: Community vegetable and fruit garden which provides information and locally-adapted germplasm to local disadvantaged populations to grow their own food;

Mandan, North Dakota: Rain garden with native plants for pollinators;

Grand Forks, North Dakota: Garden competition between units;

Arlington, Virginia: Washington, D.C. metro area employees partnering with the Arlington County Food Assistance Center to establish a display vegetable and herb garden at Central Library;

Beltsville, Maryland: Student discovery garden initiated by the Beltsville Area Diversity Committee Task Force, with many laboratories participating to showcase management of invasive pests, composting, and vegetable/ornamental breeding;

Peoria, Illinois: Vegetable garden showcasing regionally-adapted varieties, with produce donated to local food pantries;

New Orleans, Louisiana: Vegetable garden that partners with Reconcile New Orleans, which trains at-risk youths, and uses the vegetables in its restaurant and catering service;

Albany, California: A community garden. (emphasis added by webmaster)

This is an excellent start, and challenge to others to undertake similar activities.   


For more details see [note: website unavailable as of April 27, 2018].  On this website you may see a listing of current projects, or register a new garden.

We will be highlighting ARS efforts with stories and pictures in the coming months.  We soon will also be following this e-mail with a message in the new ARS newsletter for all employees to encourage their creative thinking and action.