Saturday, March 17, 2012

Let Your Garden Feed Others

Inside the Conservatory at Longwood Gardens
Last weekend I had the privilege of being invited to a special program at Longwood Gardens.  It was the spring kickoff program of the Chester County Foodbank’s raised garden beds program.  My kids’ elementary school, along with other schools, churches, and organizations across the county, are a part of this program.  I am working with the kindergarten kids this year and it’s great to see their enthusiasm for growing.  Even better is the amount of vegetables harvested across the county for those in need!
Outside the Production Greenhouse of Longwood Gardens
The program at Longwood Gardens included information from the top gardener and a tour of their production greenhouse.  Very large and very cool!  I need a seed machine like theirs that can plant 200 seeds per minute!  We also got to pot an indoor plant (sigh, for this “innie”) and then spend the rest of the day at Longwood.  What fun! 

Not lost in this fun day though was the impact that our small raised beds at the school are having in the county.  According to the Chester County Food Bank, there are 272 raised garden beds and as of October, over 1800 pounds of fresh vegetables were harvested for the Foodbank that year!  It’s all volunteer-driven and a tremendous program when you consider how many people in need will receive fresh vegetables.  Consider getting your school or church involved if you live in Chester County (  If you’re outside the county, look into your local foodbank and start a raised bed program with them.  If they don’t offer one, start a garden in your backyard and donate to the local food pantry.  Let your garden spill over to help others!

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