A Record Year for Growing and Giving

Gardeners set a record for vegetable donations in 2013 as part of the Plant a Row for the Hungry-Colorado campaign.

PAR 2013We all know gardeners are a generous bunch, but this year area gardeners set a vegetable-donation record…

10,941 pounds–more than five tons of produce!

The Plant a Row (PAR) campaign got off to a great start early in the season with several big kickoff events.

PAR sponsors provided the gardening give-away items that gardeners received at The Denver Post’s Garden Night and the Denver Master Gardener’s annual plant extravaganza.

2012 Growing and Giving Gardening Report

The results are in for our 2012 Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign in the Denver metro area.

When I stood in the pouring rain at Harvard Gulch Park handing out garden starter kits on May 19, I didn’t know what kind of gardening year 2012 would be.

After a couple of good spring rains, gardeners were challenged with hot, dry weather and I didn’t have high expectations for our Plant a Row effort.

I’m happy to report our hardy gardeners weren’t at all deterred by difficult gardening conditions.

We ended the season with a total 4,890 pounds of produce donated to 16 different service agencies.

That’s over 2.4 TONS of food to help feed the hungry in our community.

Special recognition goes to Saint John’s Cathedral. Volunteers there collected 1667 pounds for Metro CareRing.

Plant a Row Gardening Contest

Join us for an end-of-season Plant a Row for the Hungry contest (open to gardeners in the U.S.).

I thought it would be fun to have a contest to see who can guess the total number of pounds of produce that gardeners will have donated to Plant a Row Colorado in 2012.

Post your guess here or on our Facebook page by Friday, October 5.

Closest guess wins! The winner will receive a gardening gift pack to get a head start on next season.

Results will be announced later this month or whenever all the tallies are in.

HINT: Gardeners have already donated more than 2800 pounds of fruits, vegetables and herbs to 14 different service agencies in the Denver metro area.

Add your guess now!

Plant a Row 2012 Kicks Off Tomorrow


We hope to see you at Denver’s Plant a Row for the Hungry 2012 kickoff tomorrow at Harvard Gulch Park. You can pick up your free garden starter kit while shopping for extra heirloom tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetable plants at the 7th Annual Denver Master Gardener Plant-a-Palooza plant sale. Proceeds from the sale benefit the Colorado State University Extension in Denver.

Colorado Master Gardener volunteers will be on hand to answer your gardening questions and help you choose the best plants for your garden.

Special features this year are a Purge Your Spurge effort and a Coyote Awareness program.

The sale runs from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 888 East Iliff Ave. (between Broadway and Downing, two blocks south of Evans).


Mother’s Day Plant Market Special Event

If you’re in the Denver area on Sunday, please join Plant a Row for the Hungry at a special Plant Market at Saint John’s Cathedral.

The Market will offer a beautiful variety of colorful annual bedding plants, fragrant herbs, strawberries, and three kinds of tomatoes grown by City Floral. Donations will benefit the Nursery Play Garden at Saint John’s.

Be sure to add a handmade Mother’s Day corsage (or two) to your selection!

The outdoor Market is open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 1350 Washington Street, Denver, 80203.

With every $20 donation, gardeners will receive a limited edition Mother’s Day canvas tote featuring the Plant a Row for the Hungry logo.

In addition to all the bloomin’ flowers, flowering baskets, and pots of basil, lavender, parsley, and rosemary, Plant a Row volunteers will be handing out free garden starter kits filled with seed packets and other gardening goodies.

Thousands of Donated Seeds for Gardening

Thanks to five different seed companies, the Plant a Row for the Hungry garden starter kits are full of potential.

The Plant a Row volunteers are getting ready for the campaign’s kickoff events in May. Thanks to our generous sponsors, the free garden starter kits will be full of gardening goodies this year.

We hope volunteer gardeners will use their garden kits to grow extra vegetables and herbs in their gardens to donate to a neighborhood food bank, soup kitchen or church pantry to help feed hungry families.

Thousands of seed packets were donated for the local growing-and-giving effort by the following companies:

  • BBB Seed
  • Botanical Interests
  • Ferry-Morse
  • Lake Valley Seed Company
  • Renee’s Garden

Whole Foods donated reusable cloth bags to contain everything, a big plus this year for holding more seeds and holding up in case of inclement weather.

The kits also include:

  • Samples of Happy Frog organic fertilizer from Fox Farm

Gardening for Good

Even though I was a panelist at a recent summit on food justice, I’m still shocked by the statistics on hunger in this country. Thirty-three million Americans, including 13 million children, live in households that experience hunger or the risk of hunger.

It breaks my heart to know so many people, especially children, go hungry every day.

That’s why I’m redoubling my efforts to get gardeners involved in our local growing-and-giving program called Plant a Row for the Hungry.

Plant a Row (PAR) follows the long tradition of gardeners sharing their bounty with others. Even if you’ve never grown a green before, now’s the time to start.

Vegetable Gardeners Unite!

Plant a Row is a national program of the Garden Writers Association that began in 1995. Since then, gardeners across the country have donated more than 16 million pounds of produce to local food service agencies.

Meet Katie Stagliano on Everyday Health

Even though we’ve never met, 13-year-old Katie Stagliano and I have a lot in common.

We’re both bloggers for Lowe’s Creative Ideas Garden Grow Along, and we both volunteer our efforts to help feed the hungry in our communities.

Katie’s Krops encourages kids across the country to start vegetable gardens to feed people in need and I organize volunteer gardeners through the Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign.

You have the chance to meet Katie on Oct. 1 by tuning into Everyday Health, a new television series on ABC. The show profiles ordinary people who overcome extraordinary obstacles and then dedicate their time to helping others.

I hope you’ll check your local tv listing and gather the kids to watch the program together. Perhaps your family will be inspired to join Katie and me in our growing and giving efforts.

First Denver County Fair a Huge Success

Prize-winning beets like these were just part of fun at the first-ever Denver County Fair held July 28-31 at the National Western Complex.

I hope you were able to get to the Denver County Fair last weekend, because it really was something special. It’s taken me a couple of days to recover from having so much fun.

At the Plant a Row for the Hungry booth, volunteers Jill and Jim Cruickshank, Elizabeth Staton, Cally Hennig, John Pendleton, and I talked with hundreds of wonderful folks about the growing and giving program.

I was heartened to hear many gardeners already knew about the program or were glad to learn about it and promised their support.

We handed out more than 500 Plant a Row fliers, 700 Zone 4 magazines, almost 300 packets of Osmocote, and hundreds of packets of seeds donated by BBB Seeds, Botanical Interests and Lake Valley Seed.

Cold Doesn’t Stop Plant a Row Gardening

Saturday was a cold day for one of the Plant a Row for the Hungry kickoff events, but that didn’t dampen gardening spirits. Volunteers, Elizabeth Staton and Cynthia Pasquale, kept busy by handing out free garden starter kits to more than 100 gardeners.

The kits included free vegetable and herb seeds from Colorado seed companies BBB Seed, Botanical Interests, and Lake Valley Seed. Gardeners promised to plant the seeds and donate extra produce to any of the Food Bank of the Rockies donation sites or food service agencies in their neighborhood.

More images from the day are posted on our Plant a Row Colorado Facebook page.

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