If you follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you may have seen us launch registration for the Grow a Row program for 2020! Whether you’re signed up and ready to go or just looking for a little more information, we’re here to tell you a little bit more about the program.
Grow a Row is a part of Green Venture’s Backyard Garden Project, our COVID-19 resilience project. We have been so inspired by the continued demonstrations of support, connectedness, and resilience within our community as the world finds new ways to connect with one another and with nature. As many people look to discover new hobbies and skill sets that allow us to remain safe and stay home, gardening has become a popular activity of public interest. As a Grow a Row participant, you are committing to ‘grow a row’ of produce within your garden to donate upon harvest, helping to ensure that fresh and healthy produce is accessible to families in Hamilton. If you are interested in learning more about the Grow a Row initiative and to learn more about the movement in other communities, check out https://www.growarow.org.
In keeping with our mission to support and empower Hamiltonians to build a greener, more sustainable, and climate friendly future, we believe there is no better time than now to invest in the continued development of a more local, sustainable, and equitable food system. The Backyard Garden Project aims to support this mission by expanding Green Venture’s existing green gardening programs to ensure that as many people who wish to garden locally and grow food at home are able to do so!
By growing and sharing locally grown produce, Growers are contributing to the development of sustainable, independent, and healthy green communities. Growing food at home reduces the emissions and environmental impacts involved in the travel and transportation of food. It also reduces the number of chemicals and pesticides that enter the environment (and your body!) Harvesting, preparing, and sharing your food at the end of the season is a rewarding process that also increases the accessibility of local and nutritious food for others.
We encourage anyone who plans to Grow a Row this season to register and to share what they grow and what they know! Regardless of if you are a gardening novice or a lifelong pro, everyone is eligible to participate! We will be sharing knowledge with one another and educational content along the way. To help you get started, Green Venture is offering registered Growers free sweet potato slips with the commitment of at least a 4 foot row of growing space. Sweet potato slips (seedlings) will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis with limited quantities available. The optimal period for sweet potato planting is before June 30, 2020, so if you want to grow sweet potatoes as part of your Grow a Row crop donation, please register as soon as possible by filling out our registration form HERE.
All harvest donations will be going to Hamilton Food Share. Hamilton Food Share supports 12 food banks across Hamilton, ensuring the 13,000+ Hamiltonians who need a food bank every month have access to what they need. You can learn more about Food Share Hamilton here. Some recommendations of helpful produce to grow and donate include, but are not limited to: various garden lettuces, carrots, tomatoes, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, herbs and any berries.
Upon successfully registering, you will receive a confirmation email including more information about how to pick up your free seedlings! Additionally free veggie and herb seeds will soon be available at the EcoHouse at our outdoor Hamilton Seed Library. (22 Veevers Drive, Seed Library launching soon). Quantities and selections vary and donations are welcome. For questions, please email the Program Coordinator at email@example.com.
Harvest donations will be coordinated bi-weekly from August 17 to the end of September and will be distributed to Hamilton Food Share to support access to healthy, sustainable, and local food.
For more interest in green garden programs at Green Venture, visit our EcoHouse Gardening Programs page!