sharing the green

In our garden I’ve harvested the last of the mustard greens, and with the heat, the spinach is finally giving up the ghost. The cantaloupe and green beans have filled in the gap, and I’ve begun to pick the green beans little by little every day. Once again, the cilantro bolted before we barely had a chance to make use of it. On the other hand, the rest of the herbs are producing more than I can use, and I’ve been trying to think of ways to barter, sell, or give them away to people who I know will use them. What do you do with the surplus from a garden, besides freezing and canning, or dehydrating? I’ve come across a couple of ideas recently that I’m excited about; I hope this information will inspire some solutions for you, too. 

A few weeks ago at the farmer’s market I came across a meals-on-wheels organization that was looking for local gardeners willing to share the extra fruit and vegetables from their garden. The new pilot program will match gardeners with elderly people within their community, and even suggests planting an extra plant to dedicate for this purpose. I’m looking forward to when I can plant even more after we move into our own home. If your local meals-on wheels doesn’t have a program like this, you could make a suggestion, or, start your own through other channels that are available to you.

Another new idea is a project called Where Does Your Garden Grow? on Kickstarter. It’s an application that would create an open online network to connect people who grow food with people who want to buy food. The project is meant to enable local gardeners, whether large or small, to easily connect with others in their community looking for fresh food, and to hopefully inspire even more people to start their own gardens. If you’re not familiar with it, Kickstarter is an online funding platform for creative projects; you can sign up and back any project of your choosing for as little as $1. Every project has a deadline and a funding goal, and if the project’s funding goal is not met by the deadline, then your donation is returned.

Sometimes, it’s as simple as a good idea to bring people together with good food. What happens when we work together in sharing the green can change our community for good, too.

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