Ploughshares Nursery: The Garden Center That Houses Homeless People
By Jordan McLeggan
The Bay Area is littered with garden centers and nurseries, all boasting the best-looking plants and popular species. So what makes Ploughshares Nursery any different? One hundred percent of the profit is donated towards housing the homeless.
Ploughshares Nursery opened in 2007 as a social enterprise of Alameda Point Collaborative, the largest supportive housing community in Alameda County. The Collaborative, headquartered on Alameda’s old navy base, currently provides 500 formerly unhoused residents with safe, stable housing.
Though they do accept donations of all kinds and volunteers at the small non-profit, Alameda Point wanted to take an active role in bringing in consistent revenue, while serving its community. The idea birthed three social enterprises: Farm2Market (a 2-acre organic farm), The APC Commercial Kitchen, and finally Ploughshares Nursery.
Ploughshares’ motto is to, “make your garden part of the solution”, and is run like most other nurseries in the Bay. They specialize in drought tolerant, native, and edible plants, with helpful staff on site, and a beautiful garden.
The nursery hosts workshops and other community events (like their Pruning Workshop or Plant Swaps!) during most of the year. If that doesn’t convince you that they are all about serving the community, they grow up to 30% of their own inventory to keep prices low and make jobs available to the residents of APC.
In short, if you’re going to plant a garden, why not contribute to one of the most desperate and just causes of our time. You will not regret a visit to this nursery, just ask the chickens!
Need to Know about Ploughshares Nursery:
2701 Main Street
Alameda, CA 94609
PH: 510 755 1102
Hours: 9AM to 4PM (Winter)