Lots of us look forward to getting outside every spring and digging in the garden. I call it “dirt therapy.” Whether it’s planting a row of marigolds along the front sidewalk or landscaping the back yard, there’s something relaxing and nurturing about connecting to nature. Do you plant a vegetable garden? Or have a couple of fruit trees in your back yard? Or maybe you grow tomatoes in pots on your patio? The 10,000 Butterflies Share the Harvest challenge is a great way to combine a love of gardening with doing good. I hope you’ll join us!
What’s Share the Harvest?
It’s a simple way for you to personally make a difference in the lives of hungry people right in your own community.
An easy way to do some good by doing something you’d do anyway.
Simple and easy without a lot of effort.
Without spending more than a few bucks, at most.
How does it work?
If you’re putting in a vegetable garden, just plant a few extra rows of beans or corn or tomatoes or carrots or zucchini. Whatever you’re already growing.
Plant what your family likes.
You don’t have to change what you already grow. Just plant a little extra, that’s all.
And when the veggies are ready to pick, deliver the surplus to your local food bank. It’s that easy.
If you’re lucky enough to have a fruit tree or two, share some of those delicious apples or plums or oranges. Everything you give has a big impact on those who usually don’t get fresh fruits of vegetables.
That’s how Share the Harvest works.
Set a goal.
Can you grow an extra 10 pounds of vegetables? Terrific!
Or maybe you’re thinking bigger — 50 pounds, 100 pounds? Awesome! Go for it!
It doesn’t matter what goal you set. Any surplus you donate makes a difference to someone in your community.
Share what you can. Those who are hungry need whatever you can give. Food banks usually stock only non-perishables so being able to provide fresh, nutritious vegetables is a real blessing.
Share your success.
Take a picture of your garden surplus and email it to me. I’ll post it on the 10,000 Butterflies Facebook page and right here on my blog.
Share those pics to encourage others to participate in the Share the Harvest challenge. The more of us who take up the challenge, the bigger the impact we can have.
Make it fun.
Do your neighbors plant gardens? What about other family members?
How about a friendly contest to see who can produce the most surplus veggies?
With a prize for the winner? Maybe a hamburger cookout?
Or mowing the top vegetable donor’s lawn?
Or a week of someone else weeding the garden? (I’d love that!)
Maybe a little wager of some kind?
Brainstorm. Be creative. Make it fun. You know what entice your friends and family.
The whole idea is to get more people planting those extra rows, growing delicious food to give to those in need.
Food insecurity — hunger — is real and it’s in your town.
You may not see it, but it’s there.
It could be that sweet little white haired lady in the grocery check out line with just a handful of items in her cart.
Or the disabled veteran quietly struggling to pay rent, keep the lights on, and eat something besides peanut butter sandwiches and pasta.
Or working people that simply don’t earn enough to provide healthy meals for their families every day.
Think about the kids who qualify for free lunches at school. Yes, they get a meal at school Monday through Friday but what about weekends and vacation times? Are they getting enough to eat then?
Ready to join in the Share the Harvest challenge? The more the merrier! Leave a comment below about what you’re growing and how many pounds of surplus veggies you’re aiming to donate. We’re here to encourage and cheer each other on.
Together we can put a dent in hunger in our communities! Let’s do this!
10,000 Butterflies is dedicated to planting hope and growing change. Every one of us has the power to create positive change — in our own lives and in the lives of others. Together we can solve problems and build stronger communities. 10,000 Butterflies is a place to connect with others making good things happen, to find resources, to be inspired and to celebrate what connects us instead of what divides us.
Please join us.
Bonnie Pond is the founder of the 10,000 Butterflies Project and author of The Power of Three: How to be Happy and Get What You Want in Life (Without Doing Anything Illegal, Immoral, or Unethical) and Unlock Your Creativity: 30 Days to a More Creative YOU!