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John Diaz, Susan Webb, Laura Warner, and Paul Monoghan

With growing interest in food system solutions to address poor health outcomes related to preventable chronic diseases, organizations and researchers are examining the value of community gardens as interventions to promote individual and community health. Research suggests that participation in community gardens improves access to fresh, healthy foods and increases fruit and vegetable consumption. In addition to these physical benefits, research also documents a variety of social and communal benefits, by expanding social capital, stabilizing neighborhoods, and cultivating relationships. Unfortunately, most of these studies focus on a specific case, cross case, or intervention studies within a geographically specific locale. Learning lessons from successful community garden programs can be difficult because community gardens often rely on the synergy of a complex network of support agencies that assist in various technical and educational capacities. The purpose of the study was to demonstrate the use of a framework for program development and evaluation that stakeholders, including extension, can adopt to show program outcomes. The framework used a Delphi approach with a diverse panel of community garden stakeholders to reach consensus about program outcomes. The study demonstrated that the panel could reach consensus on a variety of short-, medium-, and long-term outcomes.