(Winnsboro, LA) Gardeners across Louisiana are planning and planting fall gardens. Setting out transplants or sowing seeds for fall crops such as greens, root vegetables, and fall peas are at the top of many “to do” lists. While planning, consider planting extra to share with a charitable food group in your community.
Charitable food distributors appreciate fresh produce to share with their clients. Food pantries are formal groups usually organized under the Food Bank of Louisiana system and are present in many communities. Other food distributors are Council on Aging sites and faith-based groups such as churches which are great distribution partners because they meet multiple times a week making it easy to distribute produce while it is freshest. Contact a group in your area to see if they have a produce distribution program in place. If not, information on creating a donation system is available from the LSU AgCenter’s Grow a Row to Share program.
Garden donations are not limited to those from home gardeners. School and community gardens often have excess produce that goes to waste. Instead of tossing that produce, connect with a local charitable food distributor to increase the supply of fresh food to those in need.
The Grow a Row to Share program provides training to gardeners and charitable food distributors on best practices for harvesting, packaging, storing, and distributing fresh produce. A pilot program was begun in Tensas, Madison, Morehouse, and East Carroll Parishes this spring and will expand statewide in January.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture