In Wallingford, for example, volunteers with Growing Food, Growing Community grow vegetable starts for Lettuce Link to distribute to Seattle's Giving Gardens and food bank clients.
Cyrus Appell, Sue Hartman, and Abby Klingbeil organized Growing Food, Growing Community two years ago after a Sustainable Wallingford meeting. Cyrus hosts the volunteer project at his backyard greenhouse. Come spring, it bursts with green lettuce sprouts, tiny tomatoes that crowd the top shelves, and snap peas hardening off outside the greenhouse doors.
This past season, Lettuce Link was able to request that volunteers grow culturally appropriate types of vegetables for food bank clients. "It was important to have the communication link" notes Cyrus, "we understood what they wanted." Cyrus witnessed first hand the results of growing culturally appropriate seeds through his volunteer work at a free medical clinic in Lake City upstairs from the food bank. "Some of the patients were carrying vegetables that we'd grown the starts for" says Cyrus, "It's exciting to see the end result."
|Growing in the greenhouse|
In 2010, volunteers from Wallingford donated over 1,500 starts. Cyrus sees the vision growing, "it could be that we have five or six greenhouses scattered around Seattle that would produce for Giving Gardens, teach classes, and facilitate more gardens in Seattle with a strong emphasis on organic growing and community sharing," he muses. Though resources can be tight, its amazing what can be accomplished when volunteers come together.
"With poor economic times, having a local, community based food production resource as well as other cooperative ventures may become a vital component of our community's viability," notes Cyrus. With Growing Food, Growing Community, volunteers are bringing their skills and passion to care for one another and their community.
If you're interested in growing starts for food banks or P-Patch Giving Gardens, we'd love to hear from you: email@example.com. Cyrus Appell is also happy to talk about starting a greenhouse project in your neighborhood firstname.lastname@example.org
|Tomatoes getting ready to go.|