The garden season has ended. Here in the North Country the favorable fall weather extended our 2017 season a few extra weeks. I am certain this contributed to the bountiful harvest our Saratoga County Plant A Row for the Hungry program experienced this year. This national program, created by the Garden Writer’s Association Foundation, encourages home and community gardeners to share their harvests with at-risk individuals and families in need of nutritious foods.. Local gardeners donated their harvest with two local food pantry’s: Franklin Community Center in Saratoga Springs and Mechanicville Area Community Services Center in Mechanicville. This is Franklin’s second year participationg and first year for Mechanicville. Homegrown veggies such as tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, kale, eggplant, beets, green beans and carrots were just a sampling of the fresh foods local gardeners shared with the two food pantries.
The Franklin Community Center reported an increase in participation this year, adding 4 more home gardeners to their list of donators. Franklin accepted 700 pounds of produce donations in 2017 up 87 pounds from last year. The Mechanicville Community Center had a great first year effort, with 6 donating gardeners totaling 427 pounds! These efforts allowed the centers to supplement their existing produce streams with local, lovingly grown veggies from neighbors within their community.
One of the added benefits to this year’s program was the opportunity for children to become involved. The Mechanicville Area Library seized the opportunity to contribute by engaging local volunteers to construct raised bed gardens on their property. The library dedicated 100% of the garden harvest from these newly constructed beds to the Mechanicville food pantry. Children learned the basics of growing their own and the value of contributing to their community. Whenever we can encourage a child to garden , we encourage healthy thinking and physical activity. When we encourage a child to share their labors with others, we create a healthy, sustainable community.
Blessings of the seasons to all the wonderful gardeners who contributed to this years Plant A Row for the Hungry success! As always keeping common sense and sustainability at the core of my garden practices!
Looking for fun kid friendly activities in December? The Garden Goddess is partnering with the Children’s Museum of Saratoga for A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Workshop December 9th and Fairy Garden Workshops for Kids during school break December 27/28. Call the Museum for registration and more details: 518-584-5540