Are you planning and planting a veggie garden this season? By the looks of the number of plants that flew out of Dehn’s Greenhouses these past two weekends, looks as if folks in our area are doing just that. As you invest your TLC (tender loving care) in growing your garden this season, how about extending that care to sustain our community? In an effort to take the concept of sustainability beyond the garden, Garden Goddess Sense and Sustainability is launching the nationally based Plant A Row for the Hungry (PAR) Program right here in Saratoga Springs! This week we kick off a coordinated effort to collect and distribute fresh produce from local gardens to benefit The Franklin Community Center Food Pantry, 10 Franklin Street, Saratoga Springs.
PAR is a national program created by The Garden Writers Association Foundation in 1995 to encourage garden communities and individuals to grow a little extra and donate fresh vegetable, fruit and herbs to help people experiencing hunger and food insecurity. The year’s partnership with FCC Food Pantry will supplement their existing initiatives such as Free Produce Day, Healthy Eating NY and Healthy Eating Recipe demonstrations.
You can be counted as part of this local initiative, share your bounty and sustain our local community. To register for the program, PAR starter packets can be picked up at The Franklin Community Food Pantry ,our greenhouse partner Dehn’s Flowers and Gifts Beekman Street Saratoga Springs, as well as the Saturday morning Garden Goddess Workshops. The starter packet includes information about the initiative, how to register your garden and a Plant A Row garden marker to place in your garden. Once registered I encourage folks to send me their photos and progress throughout the season so that we can post on our PAR partners social media outlets and report to the national data base. We will be sharing participants experiences and harvests as well as collection updates throughout the growing season.
Care is an engaging word…care for your garden…care for others in our community. Sharing your garden harvests are a perfect way to respond and demonstrate that active engagement! I think back on my two dear old friends, George and Jack, who loved tending to their vegetable gardens each year. Well into their eighties, this was a great sense of joy in their tradition of sharing their bountiful harvest with others. When harvest came, their over abundance of vegetables was often left to expire on the vines in the gardens at the end of the season due to lack of opportunity to share beyond the scope of their family and friends. I can only imagine how rewarding this program would have been to these 2 old vegetable gardeners!
Whether you grow your own at home, or know of a community or local business who would like to participate, I encourage them to pick up the starter packets at our partner locations or contact the Garden Goddess Sense and Sustainability for more information. 518-390-9138 firstname.lastname@example.org As always making “common sense and sustainability a garden practice”!