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Cultivating your own garden can not only give you a sense of purpose, but it can help you provide nourishment for the most vulnerable folks in your community. Take a look at these tips from Planet Jordan for opening your heart and your garden fence to the idea of growing plants to help your neighbors:
Donate produce to soup kitchens and food pantries
Taking the time to investigate what the needs are of your greater community is a great way to give back and help your fellow humans.
● Call the local soup kitchen or food pantry to see what they need and if they would take what you’re growing.
● Before you even plant anything in your garden, you should consult a database like Ample Harvest that lists registered food pantries and can hook you up with one in your area.
● Even if you add just one or two extra plants, it can make a difference.
Check out online applications and websites
After you know where to give and where to start, look at what is most needed in the community. There are quite a few places on the internet where you can find communities of people willing to help you find information and connect you with those who need your produce the most.
● Websites can give you the rundown of what food banks really need.
● Join online communities that offer informative content about community activities and needs in the area.
● Local United Way community sites can give you a sense of what you need to plant and how you can make a difference, including through volunteer work. Home-raised vegetables are a great way to lower food costs, and every little bit helps.
Growing your garden: The basics
Whether you want to cultivate an entire garden or simply a few planters of staple foods, your contributions matter. You should endeavor to grow a garden for yourself, for your community, and for your family — no matter what it looks like.
● Creating your plot shouldn’t be too stressful. Calculate how much soil you’ll need by how big your plot is.
● YouTube videos and channels like The Gardening Channel can help you understand how to build a raised garden bed.
● For a raised bed, you need a combination of different kinds of soil, including mulch, leaves, dirt, and other plant matter.
● You can still make a difference if you live in an apartment if you want to focus on container gardening, and certain crops can produce significant yields.
● No balcony or patio for your rental? Then consider moving to a new complex where your landlord will allow container gardening or access to green space for a community garden.
● To give your garden extra nutrients, start composting. You’ll be fortifying your soil and reducing methane emissions! Simply use a small container or opt for a larger composting bin.
Creating your garden and cultivating it to help your neighbors is a noble cause. Feeding yourself and feeding your community are two things that we can all agree are worthy activities! Good luck in your plant-gathering endeavors and don’t forget to follow these tips.