Growing a garden at MOM's food pantry garden plots
Heather has fond memories of gardening with her mother as a little girl—particularly of the fabulous, fresh veggies she got to eat when their work was drawing to a close. This past year, Heather decided to take advantage of MOM’s Food Pantry Gardens to recreate the experience for her sons—enabling them to learn to garden and also bringing home fresh vegetables to supplement their meals. “I wanted to be able to grow and taste fresh veggies just as I did when I was a little girl,” Heather explained.
So, Heather set to work with her two sons, James, age 19, and Grant, age 11. Heather knew from experience that the work required upfront was worth it, but she wasn’t sure how her sons would react. She was delighted to watch as they got hooked. “I was so surprised to see how much my youngest son enjoyed working in the garden and seeing how willing he was to help out! From the beginning, Grant was constantly begging to help. He would visit the garden while I was at work to make sure everything was watered. For him to have an opportunity to experience the benefits of being able to grow our own vegetables was wonderful.”
Heather and her sons loved watching their vegetables grow. But, even more, they loved eating them at the end. “There’s nothing like a garden fresh tomato,” Heather said. “Or fresh fried green beans with onions and bacon. Yummy!”
MOM operates three Food Pantry Gardens. In the first garden, clients are matched with volunteer mentors who teach them how to nurture their own small garden plot. Clients get to keep what they grow. The other two gardens are tended by volunteers, including the Community Action Coalation, Fiskars and Willy Street Co-op. All proceeds from these gardens are donated to the MOM food pantry, providing fresh vegetables to those who visit.
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