When You Plant, Plant a Row For The Poor

My husband Steve pointed out to me last night that we’ll be harvesting our garlic soon, leaving a large space in our garden box open for new plants. He suggested we plant a few rows of veggies for our local food bank. He heard at our church about the Plant A Row For The Hungry program and, unbeknownst to me, bought a bag of potato starts to plant in our garden and donate later this season. When the garlic comes out, the potatoes will go in and we’ll take them to the Oregon Food Bank when they’re ready!

The Plant A Row program seems like a great idea, given the abundance of produce some gardeners have at certain points in the season. Zucchini grows so abundantly in the Northwest that a local lumberyard’s placard sign a few years ago read “It’s zucchini season. Don’t make eye contact with your neighbor.” When the zucchini or tomatoes or cukes ripen all at once some gardeners are desperate to give them away. Why not make the extra effort to transport them to a local food bank and get them into the hands (and mouths) of people who need them the most?

Here in Oregon the most needed vegetables, according to the Oregon Food Bank, are:

  • Tomatoes (pick while slightly under-ripe)
  • Green beans
  • Winter squash (acorn or butternut)
  • Garlic
  • Hot peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Collard greens
  • Onions

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