When I bought my first home almost four years ago, one of the first things I decided I wanted was a vegetable garden. had no idea what I was doing (and am still learning…) but each year I seem to have more success than the one before. I planted my seeds about two weeks ago and am watching them grow like crazy in my kitchen window. I usually plant too much as I have a tendency to kill my seedlings before they make it into the ground. This year we have expanded the size of our garden, and I am doing more research with the hopes of a higher survival rate. With any luck, we may be able to pull off growing an extra row for Loving Spoonful.
Loving Spoonful, a community food organization developed to help create food security and combat hunger and food waste in Kingston, has created the Grow a Row campaign to encourage growers of all types to grow an extra row of food for the purpose of donation to emergency meal programs. In addition to the program, Loving Spoonful’s main focus is to reclaim surplus food from local sources such as grocery stores and restaurants and to transport it where it is needed. This not only helps feed the hungry, but it does its part to eliminate food waste and helps to create a local food system that is resilient and sustainable.
Grow a Row is something that anyone can participate in, whether you are a farmer or a backyard gardener, you can help make a difference. Donations are collected by the Grow a Row volunteer committee at Market Square from June to October. Or, if growing isn’t an option for you, you can help make a difference by investing in Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) and donating some or all of the local produce you receive, volunteering to collect and/or deliver food donated at the Market, or by helping maintain the Acorn Donation garden at the Oak Street Community Garden.
The campaign begins in May with a seedling sale and launch party (keep an eye on our calendar for exact dates) and wraps up in October with a harvest party and garden clean up at Oak Street. In the meantime, if you can participate by growing a row, you can begin to plan your garden now with this helpful list.
The best things to grow for the program are: potatoes, carrots, onions, turnips and other root vegetables as they are easiest to store and transport. In addition, vegetables and fruits that are greatly needed include broccoli, cabbage, beans, tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, sweet peppers, winter squash, apples, pears and melons.
In addition to Grow a Row, Loving Spoonful is always up to some pretty incredible stuff, creating dining specials by partnering with local restaurants, running a community kitchen and offering workshops of all types. Be sure to have a look at their website to see the good they do for the Kingston community and perhaps to find out where you can get involved. Happy planting everyone!