Grow a Row is an international initiative that works to get backyard gardeners involved in donating freshly grown produce directly to their local food bank. We encouraged local gardeners to participate in the Grow a Row program as it has participants only commit a single row or container plant to be donated to the food bank..
Most farms in the Boulder and Broomfield area are smaller, producing on 10 acres or less. With their smaller operation size, they also have smaller staff sizes. These farms find it difficult to donate as they do not have the means to deliver the produce they have after markets or when they have excess..
Teaching healthy eating to our clients promotes nutrition as well as knowing where our food comes from. Encouraging community members to make their own food and learn new skills gives them the opportunity to take control of their health and wellbeing. The year two VISTA was able to work with cooking and nutrition through the “demo kit” project. There were community members and clients of the CAC who came into the community kitchen at the CAC to test their recipes and teach them to other community members during food bank distribution in the same building..
Engaging the community in gardening, cooking and nutrition education has been about continuing the dialogue with key community stakeholders and members from the Palouse Tables Project. Maintaining and engaging those relationships as well as cultivating new relationships are all key components of community engagement. Cultivating community engagement was a key component of the Community Educator Program..
Despite the majority of Washington state’s food being grown in this fertile valley, people don’t have access, education or tools to it. Through a community garden, we can give individuals, especially children and clients of the food bank, an opportunity to learn basic gardening skills and grow their own fresh and healthy food..