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Five Ways to Celebrate National Garden Month

Five Ways to Celebrate National Garden Month

Each April, the National Gardening Association (NGA), sponsors National Garden Month to encourage individuals to garden.

Gardening not only improves our health and nutrition, but it also grows community spirit. To foster this spirit, the NGA encourages everyone to join in this monthly celebration to make “America a greener, healthier, more livable place.”

Here are five things that will help you get into the community spirit:

  1. “Plant a Row For The Hungry.” As I wrote about in January, the Garden Writers Association created the “Plant A Row for The Hungry,” campaign that asks garden writers to encourage their readers/listeners to plant an extra row of produce each year and donate their surplus to local food banks, soup kitchens, and other service organizations to help feed America’s hungry. As you plan your vegetable garden, plant a few extra rows that will give you enough bounty to share with your local shelter or soup kitchen. Or, share your garden’s bounty with a neighbor who might need it.
  2. Organize a yard share in your community. One of the newest trends to hit the gardening world is yard sharing. Yard sharing is basically pairing people without yards with people who have them so they can grow their own food. One of the best places to find information on yard sharing is via “Hyperlocavore” Liz McLellan, who even tweets under the name “Hyperlocavore” and who has created the web site http://hyperlocavore.wordpress.com/ a free yard sharing community. As she explains on her site, “Yard sharing is an arrangement between people to share skills and gardening resources; space, time, strength, tools or skills, in order to grow food as locally as possible, to make neighborhoods resilient, kids healthy and food much cheaper!” The site has the resources you need to join or start a yard share in your own community. And, if you become part of a yard share, you can even organize a drive to collect excess produce from your friends and neighbors for those in need
  3. Garden with a friend or neighbor or start a neighborhood garden club. If a yard share is a bit too formal for you, this is a great way to share resources and information with other gardeners. One of the great things about joining forces with other people is that you can buy products in bulk quantities, including compost or mulch, or you might even be more inspired to start your own compost pile or bin if you are working with someone else. You also get the benefit of trying different veggies you might not have grown yourself.
  4. Clean out your potting bench, garden shed or garage, and take an inventory of all of your gardening “stuff.” This includes everything you would use to garden; seeds, pots, gloves, potting soil, plant markers, etc. After keeping those things that you absolutely need, donate any excess to a community or school garden program.
  5. Organize a flower “brigade” to bring fresh-cut flowers to a nursing home, care facility, or a local hospital. If you have some of your own fresh flowers you can bring them or you can buy fresh flowers or see if a local flower grower or florist would be willing to donate to help spread the community spirit!

Read more: Community, Community Service, Conscious Consumer, Do Good, Eating for Health, Life, Nature, Outdoor Activities,

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.

54 comments

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5:43AM PST on Jan 15, 2013

Thanks.

11:56AM PST on Jan 10, 2013

Thanks

11:19AM PST on Jan 10, 2013

THNX- oh, and during the growing season ,many food bank will take produce to distribute, women's shelters, associations for senior citizens, and community centers that provide nutrition support for low income school aged children during the summer break may also have need.

10:07PM PDT on Aug 27, 2010

Wonderful idea, taking cut flowers to nursing homes . Thanks.

1:22AM PDT on Jul 9, 2010

thanks

7:26AM PDT on Apr 11, 2010

Great article!

7:18AM PDT on Apr 6, 2010

Love this article! Thanks for letting us all know that it is Gardening Month!

9:51AM PDT on Apr 5, 2010

Awesome..,.thank you!

12:40AM PDT on Apr 4, 2010

Thanks for that!

7:59AM PDT on Apr 2, 2010

thanks for the post!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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