Plant a Row Colorado Gardening Gets Going

I want to send a special “Thank You!” to all the Plant a Row for the Hungry volunteers in the Denver Metro area who helped at the kickoff events on Saturday. That includes dedicated volunteers who helped hand out the free garden starter kits and gardeners who volunteered to help plant extra produce in their gardens.

I’m especially grateful to the CSU-Denver Master Gardeners and the Front Range Organic Gardeners who let us join in their plant sales so we could reach as many gardeners as possible. Several hundred people will be planting produce to help feed hungry families by donating fresh vegetables to food banks, church pantries, and soup kitchens.

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

Sowing Seeds at Local Earth Day Event

Plant a Row Colorado gave out over 100 vegetable and herb seed packets at the Green Valley Ranch Earth Day event on Saturday, April 23.

Congratulations to the Green Valley Ranch Citizens Advisory Board for planning another successful Earth Day event this year.

Angela Harris, chair of the events committee, did a super job organizing the event and handing out seed packets to promote our local Plant a Row for the Hungry effort.

Even though the weather was cool and cloudy, families stopped by to drop off electronics and other items for recycling, participate in lots of fun kid-type activities, hear live music, and learn about our community’s eco-friendly and green businesses. Cub Scout Pack 487 sponsored a community clean-up.

The goal of the GVR Citizens Advisory Board is to educate and inspire the community to protect and enjoy our natural environment.

Thank you for your efforts and please keep up the good work!

Get Ready to Garden to Feed the Hungry

Planning for this year’s Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign in Denver is already underway. This year promises to be a bigger event with more sponsors, more seeds to give away–and hopefully–many more gardeners.

Please join us!

Contact me at to find out how you can plant extra vegetables in your garden to help feed the hungry in your community.

New sponsors joining us this year include the Colorado Gardener newspaper, BBB Seed, and Authentic Haven Brand Products.

These sponsors join our continuing sponsors, Botanical Interests, Echter’s Greenhouse, Tagawa Gardens, Whole Foods, and Food Bank of the Rockies.

One kickoff event is already scheduled for May 14 at the annual Denver Master Gardener’s plant sale–so mark your calendars now!

Harvest Donations Show Gardening Generosity

During the season’s harvest, remember to donate extra vegetables, herbs and fruit to your local food pantry, soup kitchen, church or social agency.

When I was at the Plains Conservation Center on Saturday, I learned that much of the fresh produce grown in the heirloom garden was donated to help feed hungry families.

Tudi Arneill, Plains Center executive director, said all of the pumpkins remaining in the garden would also be donated.

Gardeners in the Denver and Fort Collins area have reported donating more than 200 pounds of fresh vegetables to the Plant a Row for the Hungry effort this year. I have a feeling many more took their gardening bounty to Food Bank of the Rockies donation sites, but didn’t report their contributions.

If you still have some tomatoes, summer squash, peppers, or other produce growing in your garden and you’re wondering what to do with it, please donate it to a food agency site in your neighborhood and let me know your totals. Just send an email to me at

Plant a Row for the Hungry Harvest

It’s time to start harvesting and donating your Plant a Row for the Hungry produce to a food bank, soup kitchen or food pantry near you.

This morning I spent time picking and packing 7 pounds of home-grown organic tomatoes and French yellow beans to drop off at The Friends of Saint Andrew in Aurora.

It’s taken most of the summer, but I finally had grown enough fresh veggies to play a small part in the Garden Writers Association national Plant a Row for the Hungry effort here in the Denver Metro area.

I called ahead and spoke with Sarah Norton, program director, to confirm the times volunteers would be there to accept produce and to ask the best way to package it. She said individual packets would make it easier for the volunteers to distribute, so I spent about 15 minutes packaging all sizes and colors of tomatoes and handfuls of long golden beans into small baggies.

Gardening Fun at Denver Plant a Row Kickoff

Denver’s Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign had a successful launch on Saturday at the CSU Extension Plant-A-Palooza Plant Sale. The weather cooperated as shoppers enjoyed browsing and buying vegetable plants, annuals, perennials, master gardener-grown containers and many other interesting items for the garden.

Over 100 gardeners, including these three future gardeners, enjoyed getting their free Plant a Row garden starter kits at the Saturday kickoff event.

Many others promised to plant extra vegetables in their gardens this summer and donate the produce to a food bank in their neighborhood and everyone agreed Plant a Row is an important effort to help feed the hungry in our community.

It was great to hear so many gardeners tell me that for years they’ve been growing vegetables and donating the produce on their own, in conjunction with another nonprofit agency or through their church.

Plant a Row for the Hungry Reminder

Note: Yesterday’s Name That Plant contest had many gardeners stumped, but there were three who correctly identified the berry-bearing shrub as a Goji. The pictures of the Goji were taken in my mother-in-law’s garden located in the southern part of Colorado.

Just a reminder that Denver’s Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign kickoff is tomorrow, May 15, from 8-3 at the Colorado State University Extension-Denver office at 888 E. Iliff Ave.

I’d like to thank all of the sponsors of the event, who were generous with their donations of seeds and gardening items for the garden starter kits we’re giving away tomorrow:

Food Bank of the Rockies
Botanical Interests seed company
Whole Foods
Osmocote Plus
plant food
Echter’s Nursery & Greenhouse
Tagawa Gardens

Even if you don’t live in this neck of the woods, I hope you’ll keep the Plant a Row for the Hungry effort in mind throughout the gardening season. Simply plant more than you need in your garden and then deliver the fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs to a nearby food agency.

Vegetable Gardening for the Hungry

Rows of vegetable plants, including these hanging tomato planters at Echter’s Nursery and Greenhouse, are ready for gardeners who want to participate in Denver’s Plant a Row for the Hungry effort. Echter’s, located in Arvada, Colo., is one of the sponsors of Denver’s Plant a Row campaign.

Denver’s Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign kicks off Saturday, May 15, and garden centers across the Metro area are ready.

Gardeners here–and everywhere–are encouraged to plant extra fruit, vegetables and herbs while gardening to donate to their local food pantries and soup kitchens.

Yesterday I was out and about picking up supplies for the free garden starter kits for the kickoff.

First, I stopped by Echter’s Nursery and Greenhouse, met Krystal Keistler, annuals manager, who gave me a stack of special vegetable plant coupons for the starter kits.

Plant a Row for the Hungry Gardening Event

The Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign in the Denver Metro area kicks off on Saturday, May 15 with free starter kits for gardeners.

Gardeners, farmers and other growers have a long tradition of sharing their harvest with others.

Perhaps you’ve been on the receiving end of a bag of home-grown tomatoes from a co-worker or an armful of squash from a neighbor. Maybe you were invited to glean after an end-of-season harvest at a nearby community garden.

Since 1995 the Garden Writers Association Foundation has organized a people-helping-people program called Plant a Row for the Hungry (PAR). Plant a Row encourages home gardeners across the country to plant extra produce and donate it to food agencies in their communities.

This year I’ve volunteered to coordinate a Plant a Row effort in Denver as part of the Denver master gardeners’ annual Plant-A-Palooza plant sale.

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.

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