Many of us are busy getting our vegetable gardens planted, so it's a good time to think about how much we're going to grow, and what we're going to do with it all. I don't know about you, but I almost always grow more produce than my family can eat. I can, freeze, and dry, but there's usually still too much. So this season I resolve to donate some of my surplus to a local food pantry to help feed the hungry. I used to do that when I lived in Oregon, and it was a great feeling to know that my hobby could help improve someone's life. (It was also a great justification to buy too many seeds and plant too many vegetables. I'm not obsessed; I'm philanthropic!)
Anyway, there's now a web site to help me and other gardeners find a local food pantry: Ample Harvest. Click on Find a Pantry and enter your zip code to get a Google map showing nearby food pantries, along with email and phone numbers. Information is entered by the pantries themselves, so hopefully it's accurate. I just typed in my zip and discovered a food pantry just a few blocks away.
If you want to get other gardeners involved in donating produce, you might consider starting a Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign. Plant a Row for the Hungry is a public service program of the Garden Writers of America. As a campaign coordinator, you work with gardeners and local media to coordinate donations of homegrown produce. And for those of you who like to cook what you grow (that would be all of us veggie gardeners, right?), there's a Plant a Row for the Hungry cookbook with some yummy-sounding recipes.
So how about it, gardeners? Let's share some of our bounty!
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