Here is a story that starts in tragedy, and ends, hopefully, in joy and abundance. Last spring, I planted a huge amount of lettuce in my median strip garden with the idea that I'd share it with all of my neighbors. Figuring out if they wanted lettuce grown in a garden in the middle of their road before planting it would have been a clever move, because I could not give it away no matter how much I begged them to take whatever they wanted. I wound up pulling and composting all the gorgeous lettuce in June because it was time to plant tomatoes. Tragic! What else could I do?
|Disclaimer: This is not my garden. It is beautiful and bountiful Swiss Chard though, oui?|
Well, this year I know what I will do with the extra produce. AmpleHarvest.org has made it easy to find food pantries in my neighborhood who want (and are able to handle) veggies from home gardens. Check the Find a Pantry page to see if there is one near you! There are about ten pantries who have signed up in Richmond so far. Each one has listed days and times (or have given contact info to find out) when you can drop off your garden extras. I have talked with several food pantries in my neighborhood, and they are so excited to be able to include fresh produce for their patrons.
So, as you order seeds, please think about planting a little more for your neighbors, those you know and those you don't yet know. Also, if your place of worship or community center has a food pantry, please encourage them to sign up on Ample Harvest so that neighborhood gardeners can share the bounty once it starts rolling in!