Monday, March 21, 2011

Ample Harvest

I'm passing on a message about a very worthwhile cause. Ample Harvest is a great way to literally give back to our communities. By planting an extra row, or donating part of our harvest, we bring fresh, healthy produce to others in the community. Juniorette and I plan to do this with each new crop, from peas to peppers to our second wave of greens in late fall. Here are a few words from the National Program Leader of the Institute of Food Production and Sustainability, USDA, who says it so eloquently:

As you know, Michelle Obama’s Lets Move effort calls for Americans both to eat a healthy diet and to exercise more. For many food bank/food pantry clients (approximately 1 out of every 6 Americans), access to fresh produce is often limited or completely unavailable. is the ideal solution to get these pantries access to garden produce, previously left composted or left to rot in gardens. is a nationwide anti-hunger effort created by Master Gardener (also CNN Hero) Gary Oppenheimer, which enables millions of Americans who grow food in home gardeners to find a local food pantry eager for their garden excess.

Nearly 3,200 food pantries across all 50 states are already signed up with more signing up daily. While USDA knows the location of every food bank in the US, represents the most extensive list of food pantries in captivity.

Please let gardeners know that they can help more fresh produce get to more people in the community by:

1. Being generous with their own harvest. What they grow is their food first and foremost and they should enjoy it, preserve it and share it with friends and neighbors. However, any additional garden bounty should be donated to a local food pantry easily found

2. Making sure their neighborhood food pantry is registered. If they know of a food pantry in their community that is not yet listed on, they should visit to help the pantry register.

3. Making sure other gardeners know that they too can donate. Gardeners can take the flier at local nurseries and garden shops to be posted where other customers can see it.

4. Mentioning on their blogs, Facebook pages etc.

Many of you are familiar with Plant A Row (PAR) and some of you have worked with them in the past. It is a wonderful program and has several features that complement it. These include:

1. Available *anywhere* in the country ( that a local food pantries register;

2. Is easily accessed by gardeners any time of the year – even those who did not plant an extra row but are now faced with an excessive harvest;

3. Is accessible online or even from a garden via a free iPhone app (; and

4. Is promoted with a $10K/month grant for advertising on Google to help reach the maximum number of gardeners. publishes photos of gardeners (along with their donation) making produce donations to food pantries. All they need to do is send a photo to of them delivering their harvest. finds that pictures like these help encourage other gardeners to also donate from their garden.

Please do what you can to help spread the word.

1 comment:

  1. Please note that the email address for sending a photo is

    The address in the otherwise great writeup has a typo.