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Don`t Forget to Plant A Little Extra this Gardening Season


Date Posted: May 12, 2015

Seeds of the Month Club by Mike the Gardener Don`t Forget to Plant A Little Extra this Gardening Season
photo credit: Mike the Gardener

With May comes the official start of home gardening season for us here in NJ and while many of us have already been growing a number of things inside under grow lights, the first week of May marks that the fear of frost has subsided and we have the green (pun intended) light to start growing.

Over the course of the first week I was able to get all of my tomatoes, peppers and eggplant into the ground to go with the cooler crops, lettuce, radish and spinach, making for a very full and varied garden.

However, while my garden is always full every year, there is always enough room to not forgot an important aspect of gardening that I take seriously, and that is making sure I grow not only enough my family, friends and neighbors, but also enough to help those in need in my community.

Over the course of the past 5 years I have become very fortunate to meet a lot of great people through running our website (http://www.averagpersongardening.com) and hosting the weekly vegetable gardening podcast. Two previous guests on the show that come to mind are Joe Lamp’l, the host of Growing a Greener World and Gary Oppenheimer, the Executive Director and Founder of AmpleHarvest.org.

Both men serve the same goal of helping to feed the needy but come at the issue from different directions and when both methods are used together, we can all grow more and feed a lot of people in the process.

Joe is a huge advocate for a program called Plant a Row for the Hungry. This is not something that you have to sign up for, join a club, or go to meetings. It is a simple way, of doing something on your honor, to take a row from your garden and dedicate it to growing food to help those in need.

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Gary, on the other hand has been recognized nationally for AmpleHarvest.org which connects home gardeners with local food pantries and soup kitchens so gardeners know the when, where, and how to drop off fresh home grown food locally so that those in your area can benefit. The participating pantries make sure they coordinate the pickups and drop offs, so that the fresh food you drop off is not sitting around, but instead getting into the hands of those that need it, as soon as possible.

As you can see both serve a great cause and when used in conjunction with one another, can stamp out a lot of local hunger. Along with that, not only are you helping out families in need, but you are also donating healthy, fresh food as opposed to processed boxed foods. While donations of any kind are always welcome, as a home gardener, you have the power to get healthy, locally grown food, in the hands of people that may not otherwise have a chance eat healthy.

So, as you set up your gardens this year, make sure you dedicate some space to grow food for those in need in your community. Then, once it’s harvest season, hop on over to AmpleHarvest.org, type in your zip code to find the closest pantry near you, and start dropping off that great tasting fresh food from your garden.

And while, in many cases, the food you donate may be tax deductible, the real reason you are doing it is because you are helping someone out locally who needs it.

Happy Gardening!


Please share this article! Let`s get everyone gardening!


Mike the gardener

About the Author

Mike Podlesny is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person as well as the creator of the Seeds of the Month Club where members receive non gmo, heirloom variety seeds every month. You can listen to Mike each week on the Vegetable Gardening Podcast where he interviews gardening industry experts. Don`t forget to link up with Mike on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.


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