Urban Ag Resources

Table of Contents

Free Garden Assistance Services

Plant and Soil Testing

Property Research Tools

Sites for Job Openings

Grants and Funding

Free Garden Assistance Services 

Who doesn’t like free stuff? These nonprofit and government services and materials are available free of charge to assist with gardening and urban agriculture!

MISC Utility: Call Before You Dig
Planning on digging in new ground? It’s the law to call Miss Utility to check for utility lines first.
Maryland and DC – http://www.missutility.net/
Virginia – http://www.va811.com/

Honey Bee Swarm Assistance
If you see a swarm of bees, please don’t harm them.  We need bee pollination to grow our food!  Instead, contact DC Beekeeper Alliance ASAP for removal.

The UDC Community Development Law Clinic
Free legal advice/assistance to selected non-profit organizations and small, urban entrepreneurs.  * Must be accepted as a client to receive legal assistance.

DC Water Hydrant Adapters
Developing a garden that doesn’t have access to water?  If there’s a fire hydrant close by you can apply for a permit to use a DC Water hydrant meter to get water from a nearby fire hydrant.  Works best to fill up a cistern onsite to use as needed. *the hydrant meter is free but there is a $700 deposit, permit fees, backflow preventer purchase and certification costs, and a monthly water bill to pay.  But still cheaper than installing water onsite.

Log Seats and Biosolids For School Gardens
OSSE (Office of the State Superintendent of Education) has an agreement with  C&D Tree Company for free woodchips and log/trunk seats and an agreement with DC Water for free Biosolids for school gardens only

Follow this link for Free Garden Supplies

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Plant & Soil Testing

Soil Testing


UMass Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory

UDC Soil Testing

Virginia Tech Soil Testing Lab

Soil Biology

Earthfort LLC

Soil Foodweb Laboratories For Microbiological Testing

Plant Testing

The University of Maryland Plant Diagnostic Laboratory

UMass Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory

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Property Research Tools

Want to set up a garden in an empty lot but don’t know where to start? We’ve found some amazing online tools and a few government offices that can  help you research property public records to figure out who to contact for permission to create a garden and put those empty spaces to good use!

DC Atlas Plus
This resource can help you identify the square, suffix and lot number of a parcel of land in DC, which allows you to learn more about the property through other public databases.

DC Property Quest
This resource can help you identify the square, suffix and lot number of a parcel of land in DC, which allows you to learn more about the property through other public databases.

DC Office of Tax and Revenue’s Real Property Assessment Database
Using a square, suffix and lot number for a parcel of land, you can research who was the last entity taxed by DC’s OTR. This is usually a good indicator of the current owner – but not always.

DC Office of Tax and Revenue’s Recorder of Deeds
If OTR’s Real Property Assessment Database does not provide useful or current information, their Recorder of Deeds maintains the official chain of title for properties in the city.

Office of Surveyors
Having trouble assessing the owner of a parcel of land after trying the resources above? The Office of Surveyors office can help you identify the owner of a plot of land when all else fails.

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Sites for Job Openings

DUG Newsletter 
Comprehensive list of job openings in greater DC area


Future Harvest Casa

Good Food Jobs


Josh’s Water Jobs

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Member Groups and Allies

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Grants & Funding


Agriculture in the Classroom VA Teacher Awards and Grants

Annie’s School Garden Grants

Awesome Foundation

Ben And Jerry’s Foundation

Captain Planet Foundation

CHS Classroom Grants

Community Forklift Community Building Blocks Program

CVS Health Grants Program

Fiskars Project Orange Thumb

Garden ABCs

Home Depot Foundation – Community Impact Grants

Honda Foundation

Jean Wallace Douglas Farmer Fund Application

Johnny’s Selected Seeds Charitable Giving Grants

National Endowment of Arts

OSSE DC School Garden Grants

Public Lands Every Day

Sam’s Club Grant Program

Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation GRO1000 Grassroots Grants


Seeds of Change Grant Program

USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Walmart Community Giving

Whole Food Community Giving

Grant Lists

America in Bloom Grant Lists


Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)

Fundraising Sites



Funded Incubator Programs

Halcyon Incubator

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