Grow a Bountiful Garden to Share with the Hungry this Growing Season

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Gardening expert Melinda Myers share information on Giving Gardens and why they’re important.

Produce about to be transported from a Giving Garden to a local food pantry. Photo credit: Rob Cardillo

Do you always squeeze in an extra tomato plant, another row of beans or hill of zucchini”

“Do you always squeeze in an extra tomato plant, another row of beans or hill of zucchini?” asks garden expert Melinda Myers. “It seems like a good idea at the time until everything starts to produce all at once. Family, friends and co-workers start to hide as you try to pawn off yet another bag of zucchini or tomatoes.”

Myers suggests designating some growing space to a Giving Garden and donate the harvest to a local food pantry or soup kitchen.

Feeding America reports that 41 million Americans struggle with hunger. And many are children and seniors. Gardener’s Supply Company is inviting gardeners to lend a hand and take the “Garden to Give,” pledge to grow food to give to those in need.

They surveyed food pantries to find out what types of fruits and veggies people most enjoy eating, and those that store well. They provide a simple Giving Garden plan for beets, carrots, cabbage, Swiss chard, kale and winter squash on their website at Best of all these late maturing vegetables will be ready for harvest all at about the same time, so the donation can be made in just one trip.

If lacking in space, simply plant a row or container of one or more of these vegetables to share; join forces with a neighbor who may have the space, but only limited time to garden; or gather a few friends and rent a community garden plot. Together, gardeners can grow fresh produce and memories to share.

Get children involved in growing and giving. Gardening increases focus, decreases stress and elevates children’s moods. Giving helps children grow into caring well-rounded adults. Plus, if they grow the vegetables, they are more likely to eat them!

Capture a few photographs of the donations made to inspire others to get involved. Starting in August, gardeners can enter Gardener’s Supply’s online “Show What You Share,” photo contest for a chance to win a prize for them and their local food pantry.

With the “Garden to Give,” program, everyone who participates is a winner. The real prize is making a difference in the community. And once the joy of giving is experienced, gardeners will likely be making regular donations of garden fresh fruits and veggies to those in need…and feeling great about it too.

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Diana Paul
Melinda Myers LLC
+1 (414) 771-1888
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