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Year-Round Local Resources

The following lists can help you find resources and get tips from other gardeners:

Connect with StopWaste about Gardening

Check out the links below if you would like to connect with StopWaste about gardening.

StopWaste Gardening Resources

Explore the tools below for tips on building healthy soil and growing a beautiful garden.

Tools for Building Healthy Soil

Learn more about building healthy soil and find tips to help you get started in your garden. This guide introduces soil building strategies including composting, sheet mulching and cover cropping.



Now That Your Lawn is Gone have transformed your lawn into a garden, but now what? This brochure covers how to maintain your garden after sheet mulching and includes a calendar of tasks so that you will be ready for every season.



Bay-Friendly Gardening Guide: From Your Backyard to the Bay

This 70+ page guide is written for the home gardener and provides how-to information, a design survey, profiles of East Bay gardens, and much more.



Healthy Soils Activity Guide

Wondering about the health of your soil? This interactive guide provides activities for you to engage and observe various aspects of your soil. Do just one activity or them all, at a pace that suits you.



Cover Crops: Plants with a Helpful Purpose

Growing cover crops is an excellent practice for all gardeners with an interest in building healthy soil, and especially for growing food. This handout covers the basics and gets you started with step-by-step guidance.



On-Farm Composting Toolkit

This in-depth guide can answer all of your compost questions. Whether you are an urban farmer, community gardener, or a backyard homesteader, this toolkit supports you in becoming an expert composter.



Kit de Herramientas Sobre El Compostaje En-Granja

El objetivo de este kit de herramientas es proporcionar un enfoque práctico paso a paso para los agricultores urbanos de cualquier escala para comenzar el compostaje en la granja agrícola, evaluar y mejorar el sistema existente, y convertirse en maestros compostadores.



Gleaning Guide

After over a decade of gathering backyard fruit in Alameda and donating it to the Alameda Food Bank, Alameda Backyard Growers collaborated with StopWaste to produce this guide to starting a gleaning program in your community. 



Webinar Resources

Check out our Healthy Soils Webinar Series, which includes our Healthy Soils, Backyard Composting, and Worm Composting webinars, plus all of the soil building resources mentioned in the webinars.

Access Resources


Gardening Videos on YouTube

View all of our instructional and educational gardening videos and comment with your questions. We’ll respond to the best of our ability!

Watch Videos

Compost Hubs and Composting Assistance

Free compost and composting assistance are now available to residents and community organizations in Alameda County. Compost Hubs are sites that offer free compost to residents, and StopWaste offers assistance with on-site composting to organizations and community groups growing food. 

Learn More

Learn by Doing – Volunteer with Urban Farms

Learn gardening skills and support your community by volunteering at local urban farms! Please note the following:

  • Inquire and sign up, before you show up.
  • Most organizations require you to complete a one-time waiver form.
  • Be courteous, managing volunteers takes a lot of work!
1001 83rd Avenue, Oakland, CA 94621

Urban farm providing youth programming at Tassafaronga Park, growing and distributing produce to neighborhood families. Typically holds community workdays on the 1st Saturday of the month. Variety of volunteer needs, including non-garden roles. Sign up to volunteer here.

Alameda, CA

Network of Alameda gardeners growing and donating produce to the Alameda Food Bank. ABG’s Project Pick is a volunteer-based gleaning group that collects excess fruit from backyard fruit trees. Volunteers must enter private backyards, so pre-training is provided. Sign up to volunteer here.

City Slicker Farms
2847 Peralta Street, Oakland, CA 94608

Farm park and community garden growing and distributing produce to neighborhood families. Also supports network of home gardens across West Oakland. Recently became part of Acta Non Verba's Farm Project, volunteer opportunities will be posted soon.

3350 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton, CA 94588

Production garden managed by the Livermore-Amador Valley Garden Club, growing and donating produce to a variety of East Bay organizations. Located at St. Clare’s Episcopal Church. Community workdays are posted on the garden club’s calendar here. All are welcome and no sign up necessary.

1660 Freisman Road, Livermore, CA 94551

Production garden managed by the Livermore-Amador Valley Garden Club, growing and donating produce to a variety of Tri-Valley organizations. Located at Crosswinds Church, across the creek bridge. All are welcome, volunteers must first join the group’s mailing list here.

1781 Rose Street, Berkeley, CA 94703

Educational garden and kitchen for students and families located at MLK Jr. Middle School. Volunteering requires RSVP. All are welcome, sign up to volunteer here.

2600 Barbers Point Road, Alameda, CA 94501

Urban farm and social enterprise growing produce for CSA distribution and donation to the Alameda Food Bank. Also neighbors the Alameda Compost Hub. Sign up to volunteer here.

4743 East Avenue, Livermore, CA

Urban farm growing and donating produce to a variety of Tri-Valley organizations. Also hosts the Livermore Compost Hub. Located at Asbury United Methodist Church. All are welcome, sign up to volunteer here.

20097 Mission Boulevard, Hayward, CA 94541

Community garden and “Pocket Park” growing food for a variety of uses. Also manages backyard fruit tree gleaning programs and litter clean-up programs. Sign up to volunteer here.

1050 San Pablo Avenue, Albany CA 94706

Urban farming and research collaboration between an intentional community of farmers and UC Berkeley, growing produce for their farmstand and donation to a variety of East Bay organizations. Also hosts the Albany Compost Hub. Sign up to volunteer here.

55 Mowry Ave, Fremont, CA 94536 (LEAF Stone Garden)
36501 Niles Blvd, Fremont, CA 94536 (LEAF Center)

Production and educational gardens growing and donating produce to a variety of Tri-City organizations. Provides community workshops and student programming on sustainable living and regenerative agriculture. Sign up to volunteer here.

455 Olivina Avenue, Livermore, CA 94550

Historical preservation and restoration organization that manages and curates Hagemann Ranch, including an operational horse stable and garden growing historical food staples. Neighbors Sunflower Hill Garden. Variety of volunteer needs, including non-garden roles. Inquire how to volunteer here.

Below Underwood Avenue, Oakland, CA 94613

Educational and production farm providing urban agriculture instruction to students at the Mills College Northeastern University campus. Distributes food through CSA to East Oakland residents, as well as to on-campus dining. Interested volunteers must first email farm manager Julia Dashe here.

550 Laguna Creek Ln, Pleasanton, CA 94566

Educational farm managed by the Alameda County Master Gardeners. Also hosts the Pleasanton Compost Hub. Volunteer opportunities will be announced at the above webpage as the farm site continues to develop.

Multiple locations, Oakland, CA

Network of backyard farms growing and distributing produce through CSA and the Temescal Freedom Farmers’ Market. Pollinate Farms works with volunteers through the organization Farms to Grow. Sign up to volunteer here and indicate you would like to volunteer for the “Urban Garden Project” in the form.

14235 Bancroft Avenue, San Leandro, CA 94578

Community garden managed by San Leandro 2050 growing and donating produce to the neighboring San Leandro Community Food Pantry. Located at Bethel Community Church. All are welcome, sign up to volunteer here.

455 Olivina Avenue, Livermore, CA 94550

Flower and production garden managed as an instructional and therapeutic space for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, growing and donating produce to a variety of Tri-Valley organizations. Located at Hagemann Ranch, neighbors the Livermore Heritage Guild. Sign up to volunteer here.

Local Partner Nurseries

Our partner nurseries stock diverse Bay-Friendly plants and supplies that can help make your garden successful. Be sure to call before visiting as hours, inventory, and services may change.

(925) 447-0280
981 Alden Lane, Livermore
(510) 797-3700
3700 Thornton Ave, Fremont
(510) 845-6490
2332 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley
(510) 632-1522
350 San Leandro, Blvd.
(510) 652-1936
4001 Grand Ave, Oakland
(510) 387-9744
702 Channing Way, Berkeley
(510) 755-1102
2701 Main St, Alameda
(510) 234-2222
601A Canal Blvd., Richmond
(925) 462-1760
2756 Vineyard Ave., Pleasanton

Tool and Seed Libraries

Tool Libraries

Excited to build your own garden bed but need to borrow a drill? Maybe you need a pair of sharp loppers to trim your fruit trees? Several cities in Alameda County have tool lending libraries where residents can rent a variety of tools for 1-3 weeks at a time while participating in a circular and sharing economy.

Seed Libraries

Are you looking to start a spring garden or plant some herbs on your windowsill? Check out these seed libraries where new and experienced gardeners alike can find a variety of common and heirloom seeds! This is a great way to keep resources local and help develop seed varieties that are adapted to local micro-climates.

Bulk Garden Suppliers:

Visit the Lawn to Garden Marketplace for a complete directory of Bay Area sources for bulk recycled compost, mulch, and sheet mulch materials and visit the FAQ section for tips for buying bulk compost.

Here are some of our partner vendors who carry great products for home gardeners:  

Planting with Compost