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Learn and Grow with Us!

Our Growing Community Project has a lot of moving parts, but we’ve done our best to make it easy and fun for you to get started. The goal is to grow healthy food for hungry neighbors and to learn about gardening. To get the learning started, we have a couple of key documents to get you going.

Education Step One – Download the UC Master Gardeners’ Garden Manual!

This manual has all the information you need to get started! Vegetable Gardening Handbook for Beginners.

Garden Manual Cultivo en Español
And when you’re ready to start composting, “Composting ABC’s” is a great booklet.
Compost Manual Compostaje!

Step Two – Review our Seasonal Planting List

Each season, we will create a list of plants that we are asking gardeners to grow to help support the Foodbank and others. WE WILL PROVIDE SEEDS AND STARTS FOR THE PLANTS ON THIS LIST! Of course, you can grow whatever you like, but we only pick up vegetables listed on our seasonal planting list. Why? It is important to provide the kinds of vegetables that people who receive the food aid know how to cook. For example, everybody knows how to prepare and eat carrots, but not everyone knows what to do with a rutabaga. We don’t want anyone to put in the effort to grow food that can’t easily be prepared by the people in need. Also, different plants grow in each season and, finally, some vegetables are easier to transport and store than others, which helps us make sure we deliver only fresh, high-quality produce to our partners.  Here is our fall planting list for September through October 2020:

  1. Cabbage – “Columbia” from starts
  2. Spinach – “Corvair” from seed or starts
  3. Onions – From bulbs
  4. Beets – “Red Ace” or from seeds
  5. Broccoli – “Packman” or “Premium Crop” from starts
  6. Radishes “Rover” – “Cherry Bell” or “French Breakfast” from Seeds
  7. Garlic – California Early White – From seed or cloves.
  8. Carrots – “Danvers” and “Bolero” From seeds

Step Three – Sign Up for Garden Wisdom Wednesdays! 

Once you’re signed up and have downloaded the Garden Manual and Planting List you are ready to begin. Now what? Do you know how to grow healthy veggies? Do you need a refresher on the basics? Do you have advanced gardening questions? We’ve got you covered! The UC Master Gardeners of Santa Barbara County are co-hosting “Garden Wisdom Wednesdays” webinars each Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. There will be a different class each week to focus on different aspects of the growing process. 


Bonus Points – Check out the Master Gardener Program website for tips and a vast knowledge base full of garden wisdom! UC MASTER GARDENERS

Go Deeper – Advanced Garden Education Online!
The Master Gardeners have an incredible garden education website dedicated to growing and sharing garden wisdom.  

“HELP!”  Do you need home garden answers right away?
CALL: The UC Master Gardener HELP LINE: (805) 893-3485
EMAIL:  Email your question to with photos of your question topic (if possible)

Get helpful garden answers from a UC-trained Master Gardener.

Frequently Asked Questions — 

Q: I already have a vegetable garden. Can I still donate produce?
A: Yes! IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: Please do not donate produce grown in raised beds made out of pressure-treated lumber or sprayed with pesticides and weed-killers that are not certified FOOD-SAFE. If you’re not sure, call the UC Master Gardeners’ Helpline: (805) 893-3485. They’re always happy to help! 

Q: I’d like to grow vegetables and donate them but don’t know where to start. What do I do?
A: It’s easy! Start by clicking HERE

Q: Do you have any good handbooks or instruction manuals?
A: You bet! Get started with “Vegetable Gardening Handbook for Beginners,” and when you’re ready to start composting, “Composting ABC’s” is a great booklet.  

Q: Can I connect with other gardeners via zoom for help?
A: Yes! Every Wednesday afternoon you can participate in Garden Wisdom Wednesdays, a webinar hosted by the UC Master Gardeners of Santa Barbara County

Q: Sounds cool! Who are the UC Master Gardeners of Santa Barbara County?
A: They’re awesome. Click here to learn more. 

Q: I don’t have space for a garden where I live. Can I still participate?
A: Yes! Head on over to this page to learn more about finding a public community garden near you and/or volunteering to pick up, deliver, and sort vegetables. We truly appreciate any help you can provide!    

Q: Is it okay to eat some of the vegetables that I grow for the Bucket Brigade Growing Community program?
A: Yes, but please try to save some to help us with our mission! We’re doing our best to provide free resources and information to everybody who wants to get involved — let’s pay it forward to the hungry families who need it the most. 

Q: I’d rather drop off my vegetables instead of having them picked up. Is that okay?
A: Yes Please! You can drop off produce on Mondays and Fridays between 9AM and 4PM at the Bucket Brigade Pandemic Headquarters!
WHERE?  1469 East Valley Road, Santa Barbara CA 93108

Q: So what happens to all the vegetables once they’re picked up from the volunteers’ backyards and community gardens?

A: Good question! At Bucket Brigade headquarters, trained volunteers sort and weigh all the produce before boxing it up and dropping it off at the Foodbank and other charitable organizations dedicated to improving the health and nutrition of hungry families in Santa Barbara County. 

Q: Can you sign off on community service hours for teens who volunteer?
A: Affirmative! We can track their hours, too.

Any other questions? Send us an email:

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