Edibles with Ease: When to Get Growing from Seeds or from Starts? Read more »
In my side yard which is mostly shade, I have tried a variety of perennials that thrive in a woodland setting. Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat. Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Keep your lawn and your shoes clean and free of clippings by adding our innovative, sturdy Grass Catcher to your StaySharp™ Ree... Read more »
The Salsa Rain Barrel System makes it easy to collect up to 58 gallons of water for your garden and lawn. Our rain barrel is ma... Read more »
Make the most of National Craft Month by preparing some craft kits for your children - let them explore color, texture and dif... Read more »
This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches. Read more »
Spring brings in the most wonderful colors and here is a fun way to add a touch of color to your gifts! Read more »
Our ProCision™ Rotary Bypass Trimmer features a unique dual-rail system that stabilizes the rotary blade, eliminating wiggle fo... Read more »
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Available online and at your local retailer May 2014 Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with... Read more »
My idea is to show everyone that they can make something cute and fashionable without spending a lot of money. Read more »
Embellishing a plain shirt using a reverse appliqué technique is easy - and your kids will love their personalized outfit! Read more »
This year, it seems like spring is way overdue at our house. Read more »
Perfect for tight, precise cuts, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force the blades back togethe... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through multiple layers, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabr... Read more »
I always look forward to school being out for the summer (more so than my children, probably!) and the change of pace means we... Read more »
This fun project is a great way to send a little love note to your child. These lunchbox notes can be slipped into a backpack... Read more »
Here is a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day that is not only adorable, it makes kids stop and think about how lucky they are. Read more »
Children love our Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the handle that’s shiny, bright and smooth, not “sticky” or “bumpy.” Teachers and... Read more »
Our Big Kids Scissors take the basic design of our teacher-recommended Kids Scissors and enlarge them for kids that are a littl... Read more »
Our Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those older children who ar... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear... Read more »
Our Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade makes cutting a wide variety of quilting materials comfortable and easy. A cu... Read more »
It is rooted deeply into Judeo-Christian history books, which instruct farmers, vintners and others from collecting the leavings after their primary harvests. Today, the practice has evolved into programs that not only gather and distribute crop residues to support the disadvantaged but also into agendas that specifically grow food intended only for those in need. And, not every institution and individual cultivating, collecting, harvesting, or distributing food is driven by a religious directive. Many altruists simply delight in giving back and providing solutions to feed the sick, elderly, unemployed or otherwise disadvantaged members of their local community.
Last spring when I helped design and install a Fiskars Project Orange Thumb garden in Portland, Oregon, the Fiskars’ generous grant donation inspired the community receiving the grant garden grow more than just a bit of food for themselves. Co-designer Joe Lamp’l and I worked out the overall garden design to include perimeter beds for everyone to share. These areas were filled with a number of tasty blueberry bushes, savory herbs, pollinator attracting perennials, weed-deterring groundcovers, as well as other trees and shrubs. The heirs of this new garden were thrilled to know scrumptious berries would border their plots. Many of these seasoned and aspiring new gardeners had been hit hard by the recession and were digging in as a way to grow food to feed their struggling families. Perhaps inspired by the sense of community and giving this day brought about, these very same people in need were the first to say they would be sharing their growing skills and their harvests with fellow Portland residents in need.
In 1995 the Garden Writers Association launched “Grow a Row for the Hungry”, which by 2002 became an expanded non-profit. This program educates the public on hunger and provides resources illustrating how to grow food to abate the problem. They advocate the idea of creating a donation-only row to existing edible garden beds. While not everyone has room to add a specific farm row to their veggie patch, there are easy solutions and generous crops that enable every gardener to give a bit back from even the smallest plot.
Want to grow to donate?
Consider tucking in generous crops like easy-to-grow lettuce, chard, and kale, which can provide nonstop harvests throughout the growing season. Need to grow vertically in tight spots? Climbing peas and beans are great solutions, plus the more you harvest from these crops, the more you get. And, one of the easiest crops to grow in the garden or in a container is the pantry staple potato; even planted in the worst of soils under neglectful conditions, these nutritious tubers consistently provide heavy yields, with more than enough to share.
Have an overabundance you need help getting to those in need?
Many urban homeowners plant or inherit properties blessed with mature fruit trees that are filled with delicious fruit each year. The problem so many report is that they just can’t keep up with the harvest or the subsequent mess that falls to the ground, attracting rats, wasps, raccoons, possums and other undesirable wildlife. Fortunately, there are a number of programs designed to distribute your overwhelming bounty to those who need it most. And better yet, in some cities, they’ll even harvest the crop for you!
If you’re interested in harvesting and donating your crops yourself, try contacting your local food banks and retirement communities to find out what days they accept fresh food donations and what they’ll accept. Then time your harvest and contribution day to meet their needs. If you need help reaping and distributing larger harvests, check with your nearby food banks, community centers, homeless shelters, meal delivery services or retirement homes to learn who is providing gleaning services in your community. Or, check the resource list below for programs dedicated to feeding the hungry on local, regional, national and international levels: