Harvest for the Homeless-Garden and Cooking Program

This innovative local “Mosaic” project is a year-round ‘plant to plate’ community service program focused on two of CISV’s core educational principles: Human Rights and Sustainable Development. The service-learning project benefits area Homeless Shelters, Soup Kitchens and Orono Seniors with home-made garden meals throughout the coldest time of the year, when locally grown foods are in short supply. Project volunteers benefit in a great number of ways too, there is summer for learning and experiencing organic gardening, the fall to practice food storage and preserving, and interim months of  getting together with friends and families creating healthy garden meals for those in need .

Each year we provide more than 1000 healthy meals for people experiencing from food insecurity. Volunteers meet on group “Work Days” to work in the Garden and monthly from October – May on the third Sunday of each month, 4:00 – 6:30 pm at the Orono Senior Center to prepare meals.

The bountiful garden

The bountiful garden

We are completely dependent on community financial assistance and support and welcome volunteers of all ages to join us! Do stop by the garden (next to Orono Senior Center and the library) to see how lovely it is. If you would like to donate to our program, receive garden project news, or help as a program volunteer, please contact CISV Maine to learn more.


The CISV Harvest Garden grows primarily root crops that work well in the soups, breads and desserts made October through May. Varieties are chosen according to their storage qualities and tolerance to cold weather. Low tunnels are used to protect many of the crops, extending the growing season well into late fall.

CISV members strive to strengthen chapter friendships while building bridges with the larger community. Project volunteers have enjoyed working with UMaine Cooperative Extension and Master Gardeners, Orono Community Gardeners, Sustainable Agriculture students, UMaine first-year student volunteers, UMaine Upward Bound students, Orono Parks and Rec after-school students, Wassookeag Home School, Orono High Alternative Ed. CORE students, Orono High Honors Extension students and AFS-YES exchange program students.


Check out the TV news report: on our program:


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