Where we started

Tender Heart Gardens began as a queer and trans growing collective, founded in 2017. We began growing on city lots leased from the Ingham County Land Bank on Lansing’s Eastside. One of our two locations is in the Urbandale floodplain, on a 1/3 acre parcel of land on South Foster.

Our garden managers, Morgan Doherty and Ana Wolken, are supported by many LGBTQA+ community members who provide seasonal volunteer labor. We are a member garden of the Capital United Land Trust, raising funds to secure collectively held land for marginalized growers.

Our harvest is shared among growers, volunteers, and community members, and this year we are moving into small-scale commercial production, with additional space and support from community partners

Our Principles:

All people deserve quality food.

Land is essential to social justice.

Outdoor education is an investment in our future.

Stewardship is a gift and a responsibility.

where we’re going

We are building our future farm at Fenner Nature Center, surrounded by the 10-acre prairie paddock that was once home to Elvis the bison.

In this 1/4 acre location, we are developing a commercial small farm, offering market vegetables (and one day chicken eggs, and goat milk products) to Lansing residents at affordable prices at an on-site farm stand and via community supported agriculture shares.

Tender Heart Gardens will provide contract services to Fenner, like invasive species management with a browsing goat herd; educational programming; and produce for major programs.

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