Home gardeners can now use their passion for gardening to make a difference in their communities through the Alabama Extension Grow More, Give More project.
Designed for both novice and experienced gardeners, this project provides the information required to have a successful vegetable garden. This project goes one step further and encourages citizens to use their garden bounty in ways to meet community needs.
“We are excited to launch this project that not only teaches people the ins and outs of gardening, but also helps provide much needed food assistance to communities across Alabama,” said Bethany O’Rear, an Alabama Extension home grounds regional agent.
Grow More, Give More is a collaborative effort between Alabama Extension horticulture agents and Alabama Master Gardener Extension volunteers. The Grow More aspect of this project is now underway.
Alabama Extension horticulture agents are distributing kit plans for growing vegetables at home. These plans cover some of the basic growing information related to commonly grown Alabama vegetables.
“These plans will have information specific to different garden types, such as how to grow tomatoes in a five-gallon bucket,” O’Rear said. “We will suggest supplies needed, where to place it, when to plant it and how to maintain it.”
Kits include plans for large container gardens, raised beds and in-ground row crops.
Worried about getting started? Don’t fret. Extension agents will help growers every step of the way by providing informational resources through a variety of platforms. Master Gardener Extension volunteers are also dedicating their time to support the project.
“These resources are great tools that help guide home gardeners through the entire process,” she said. “In addition to the publications and informational articles on the Extension website, the Grow More, Give More project will have brief on-line tutorials, social media posts and one-on-one assistance through the Master Gardener Helpline.”
According to O’Rear, the team is still finalizing plans for the Give More aspect of the project. However, the goal is that people use their extra produce to make a difference in their communities.
“People who grow more than they can use are encouraged to share with neighbors or donate it to local food assistance efforts,” O’Rear said. “As people learn to Grow More, we hope they will Give More too.”
This summer, the project will provide a way for gardeners to record their donations and also tell the story of how they utilized the Give More aspect of the project.
For more information on this project, visit the Grow More, Give More page on the Alabama Extension website, www.aces.edu.