Sharing Your Harvest
In my family, we always grew too much in the garden. Tomatoes, beans, grapes…as a kid, it was my job to deliver the surplus throughout the neighborhood. I always made a show, complaining about having to haul grocery bags of produce up and down the street. In reality I was proud of our accomplishment and the neighbors were always appreciative. Now I am the gardener who grows too much and I send my son around the neighborhood with extras. Sharing your harvest is an awesome way to build community!
There is another way of sharing your harvest that makes a deeper impact. Through the Garden Writer’s Association, I have become aware of a movement called Plant A Row For The Hungry. It’s a way to share your harvest with those who really need it. In every community there are people struggling to put food on the table, and as gardeners we have what they need most: fresh, nutrient-packed veggies. Most feed-the-hungry programs rely heavily on “non perishable,” processed foods; but we can offer garden fresh food. Seems like a simple solution, but it’s not always that easy.
How to Donate
Before packing up your summer squash and heading to the local food bank, you need to ensure that they can work with fresh produce. Their storage or distribution systems may not be compatible with your donation. It’s wise to call ahead. If you are looking for a place to donate, Ample Harvest can direct you to an organization in your area that accepts fresh produce donations. In addition to food pantries, consider sharing with organizations that prepare meals, like soup kitchens, homeless shelters, senior services centers, group homes and more. Sharing your harvest is a meaningful and rewarding way to support your preferred cause.
It’s early in the season. There is still plenty of time to plant an extra row.