Our project is a community garden program that runs from early spring to autumn to help homeless residents get access to fresh, vitamin-rich, organic vegetables. At not just any old way, but by growing it themselves!

During the six months of the project, people living without a home can experience their work iterally bear fruit. Beyond the produce that they get to harvest, the program is important as a way of offering useful engagement for the residents of shelters; energizing and inspiring them, encouraging them to take up responsibilities, creating community and new goals.

A large number of volunteers join our project each year, and we need every help we can get. In the early spring, we distribute seeds among our volunteers to grow the seedlings in the warmth of their homes, protected from the cold nights. Our volunteer gardener provides our participants with the needful guidance throughout this stage of the project. Finally, the seedlings are planted in the gardens of shelters by the volunteers and the participating homeless people together. Planting the seedlings together is a great opportunity for volunteers and the shelters’ residents to meet, chat, and spend some time together. Volunteers get to know the day-to-day life of these institutions and learn about their residents’ environment. Taking care of the small gardens is the responsibility of the residents of the shelters. They are assisted in this by local social workers, and some shelters have even started a cooking club to accompany the project.

Our partners:
BMSZKI (Budapest Methodological Centre of Social Policy and Its Institutions) Shelter House Foundation
Hungarian Red Cross Budapest

A special thanks for their prominent support to:
Oázis Garden Center
Hartmann-Rico Magyarország Kft

The Team:
Betti Balassa – Project Manager, gardener

Viktória Takács – Project Coordinator

If you have any questions about the project, contact Betti at the email address betti.balassa@bikemaffia.com!

As a volunteer you can join the project around early spring. For volunteer opportunities follow: Budapest Bike Maffia, or the page for Seeds4Hope on Facebook!

Photo by: Júlia Halász