C&S Community Grocers
Evaluation (Ways to Evaluate)

Evaluation (Ways to Evaluate)

How can you know if your workplace garden project is effectively meeting your employees’ and business goals and having an impact in the workplace and in the community? How can you assess what changes might need to be made along the way? The key to a successful evaluation is to gather data that is useful to you and other garden stakeholders, then use that data to improve your garden program.

At the beginning of the season, consider creating a logic model and evaluation plan to guide work and offer evaluation tools at the end of the summer. Use the plan to ask a few short questions based on the project goals, to focus evaluation efforts and ensure the information gathered will be useful to stakeholders.

Information can be gathered through:

  • Pre-season and post-season surveys
  • Workshop and activity evaluations
  • Current or potential gardener focus groups
  • Leadership surveys or interviews
  • Hunger partner and educator interviews
  • Informal conversations with gardeners throughout the growing season

Information that can be gathered from existing garden sites:

  • Participation data (number of gardeners/bed/locations; times of day/week most gardeners visit)
  • Number and type of food crops grown
  • Gardening techniques used (raised beds, containers, trellising, mulching, companion planting, crop rotation, organic pest management, etc.)
  • Weight, frequency, and destination of produce donations
  • Photos or maps documenting the physical transformation of the garden over time
  • Reasons for gardeners’ participation (health, enjoyment, stress relief, skill development, etc.)

A report and recommendations can be compiled based on data gathered from all sources, as well as research and information from other companies with workplace gardens, gardening professionals and educational institutions.

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