Don’t be a sideline gardener this season. Be a team player. Get your hands dirty by joining our 2017 Saratoga County Plant a Row for the Hungry team. This marks our second year encouraging home gardeners to help feed the hungry in our community! We are expanding our playing field for 2017. In addition to the Franklin Community Center Food Pantry in Saratoga Springs, we welcome the Mechanicville Area Community Services Center Food Pantry to the program.
Plant a Row for the Hungry (PAR) was launched in 1995 by GWA, the Association for Garden Communicators in a effort to encourage gardeners to grow a little extra and donate the produce to local soup kitchens and food pantries within their communities. This national program is rooted in the heartfelt tradition of gardeners sharing a bountiful harvest with others. The program encourages involvement at all levels, whether you grow in a small urban plot, containers, traditional farm row gardens or blended gardens.
No experience needed on this team. Even first year rookies can grow and donate! Home gardeners, schools, nonprofits, church groups, youth groups and businesses can get some “skin in the game”. The rewards of helping folks in your community who experience hunger or the treat of hunger are many. Participating in Plant a Row for the Hungry provides a growing season full of teachable moments for kids. When school is out for the summer, kids can learn and experience first hand concepts in sustainability.
In my first year of the program launch with the Franklin Community Center in Saratoga Springs, Plant a Row for the Hungry provided over 750 pounds of homegrown produce to the food pantry. One of the participants shared her thoughts on the experience: ” I enjoy giving back to the community, but often struggle to find the time because of work and personal hobbies taking up so much time, so this was a perfect mesh of hobbies and contributions all in one!”
You can get involved by contacting me through my email or telephone me @ 518-390-9138. I can get a garden registry packet out to you, register your commitment and include you in our homegrown gardeners network this season to swap stories about your progress and harvests. Let me know if you are planning to contribute to either the Franklin Community Center (FCC) or the Mechanicville Area Community Services Center (MACSC) food pantries. This year, Dehns Flowers and Greenhouses in Saratoga Springs and DiSiena Garden Center in Mechanicville have special discounts for PAR participants purchasing their fruits, veggies and herbs. Registry packets are also available for pick up at FCC and MACSC.
Hope you will join our team this growing season. Using common sense and sustainability in all my garden practices…here’s hoping for a bountiful Plant a Row for the Hungry Year!