Gardeners Plant a Row for the Hungry

Plant A Row for the Hungry is an important program and any gardener can participate.

yellow-squash-blogThis gardening season, please add a few extra squash plants to your garden and donate the harvest to one of the local food agencies in your community. Fresh produce is always needed to help feed hungry households across the country.

If you decide to join the “Plant A Row for the Hungry” program, you’ll be partnering with gardeners in communities from coast-to-coast who grow and donate millions of pounds of produce to food banks, soup kitchens and nonprofit organizations.

Plant A Row for the Hungry is an annual communications effort by the members of the national Garden Writers Association. The movement began in Anchorage, Ala., when garden writer Jeff Lowenfels asked his readers to grow extra produce for a local soup kitchen.

The need for fresh fruits and vegetables never goes away. Millions of Americans depend on community non-profit organizations, churches and food service agencies to help feed their families on a daily basis.

Gardeners everywhere can become involved by planning to participate. Simply plant more than you need in your garden and then deliver the fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs to a nearby food agency.

Even if you don’t have a big vegetable bed, veggies like tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, can be grown in patio containers. In fact, it’s sometimes easier to control the amount of sun and water they receive than in the garden bed.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

Contact the food service agencies in your community to gauge the need.
Select vegetables and herbs that can be used in many different ways.
Start seeds early to get a jump on the growing season.
Choose hardy, disease resistant varieties that do well in your area.
Plant varieties that mature early and that will produce throughout the entire season.

Then recruit family, friends, neighbors and garden club members to join in the effort.

Plant A Row depends on the long tradition of gardeners sharing their bounty with others. This year put your gardening skills to use in one of the most fulfilling ways.

Please let me know how you plan to participate in this important program.


 

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