Hi Byron, I want to think you for this idea. You would think I could think of it myself (well you know). I have planned my garden very big and it is only my husband and I and I was wondering what I was going to do with the extra.Again great idea.
Byron, the co-op extension service here has gotten involved with this. They are calling it "Millennium Gardening." It is really taking off. Some of Louisiana parishes have as much as 34% of folks living below the poverty level. Also the Council on Aging takes in produce as well. These are all great ideas, thanks for bringing it up! Bye, Lisa
Just a thought.If you dont live bya shelter for the homeless don't forget our elderly neighbors. I'm sure they would love some of your fresh vegetables and who knows maybe they are the ones who kept a strain of heirloom going. Each year I leave vegetables on a elderly neighbors front porch and slip away without them knowing who brought it. These people still have one great thing,there pride, and it makes all that work you put in the garden well worth it.Just a thought.
Last year I did this and it was great. My county dosn't have a kitchen, they have a cloths closet where they just set the fresh herbs and veggies out to let the people pick out what they want and how much they want or need. I didn't plant extra, because I tend to get a little carred away. I Didn't think I was able to help that much but at the end of the season I gave over 400 pounds. The sad thing is I was one of two who gave and it was just a drop in the bucket. If anyone is thinking about doing this and can there are many out there that would luv a for it. Tonia
If you are in a widely spaced rural area with no food bank or homeless shelter nearby on your usual driving route (and don't have extra gasoline money/time, check with your closest library.)
The librarian in a small town on my twice monthly driving pattern suggested the senior center next door to the library, which was very receptive. Actually, that librarian proved to be of more practical help in answering my question than either Second Harvest or the state's Food Bank organization, which assume that people who want to help have extra money for gasoline or longdistance calls.)
Other possibilities are churches etc. with a food pantryshelf (sometimes they advertise such in phone directory), and nonprofit thriftstores. (I was overjoyed to get some free green tomatoes at a thiftstore last fall, as my tomatoes didn't fruit in the heat last summer.)
"Planting a row for the hungry" is a wonderful concept. Last year my local garden club adopted the idea as a charitable project. We got 3 plots in the community gardens where we planted tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, corn, cabbage, carrots, cukes and assorted melons. A couple of club members volunteered to pick the veggies and transport them to various shelters. The rest of us made it a practice to stop over at the plots 2 to 3 times per week were we weeded and watered. It was great. The time spent weeding afforded us the opportunity to get to know our club members better while still engaged in a worthwhile effort.
Additionally, as the summer progressed and others found out what we were up to, they started leaving their excess produce in paper bags on our plots. A garden member constructed a small hinged container which we set in the middle of the plots with a note attached that listed the days when we would be going to the shelters. People left their excess in the wooden container on these days, so the veggies stayed fresh.
We kept a tally and found that by the end of the year, thanks to all the efforts of the club members and other gardeners, we were able to deliver a tad over 3000 lbs to the shelters.
It felt great! So this year we will repeat the project, but increase the number of plots. Our aim is to double our produce.