Garden Helper Project

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Garden Helper Referral Program

While gardening has great therapeutic value, growing one’s own food can be physically demanding, particularly for elders or those with physical limitations. With a little help with some of the heavy tasks, many people can continue to garden and reap the benefits in both healthy food and physical activity.

The Zaniyan Garden Helper program matches graduates from our intern programs with those needing help.  Elders or anyone needing extra garden help can call and get a referral. Garden Helpers charge considerably less than traditional landscape companies, however they are not professional landscapers. They charge on a sliding fee scale as a community service. Costs are $10-15/hour depending on the job. You can schedule times that best work for everyone, usually in 3-5 hour increments.

Garden Helpers’ usual tasks include weeding, watering, planting, composting, and bed preparation in organic food and herb gardens. Other than gloves, please provide tools.  If you use chemicals, or need power equipment or extensive work, please use a professional landscaping service.

By using those who have successfully completed the Zaniyan or the Eagletree internship, you are able to hire people who have been pre-screened, have a demonstrated work ethic, will show up on time (or notify you well in advance if they can’t make it), and have learned the basics of weeding, gardening, permaculture and plant identification. While the knowledge of the garden helpers may vary from beginner to advanced, they are able to work independently. We hope that people will work together sharing knowledge and increasing inter-generational learning.

Garden Helpers are independent contractors and are responsible for their own taxes and insurance.  A standard liability release form can be provided if requested.  Payments are made directly to your Garden Helper. The Zaniyan program is a referral and matching service. We charge neither helpers or clients any fees, as it is our mission to increase community food resilience, promote health through plants and learn with elders.

We are currently limited to the Eugene/Springfield area, and not all helpers have cars, so being on a bus or bike route is helpful.

If you want to hire a Garden Helper please contact us and we will connect you with someone who lives in your area.