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  • Writer's pictureJere Folgert

Growing an Extra Row to Share : From Your Garden to Grateful Hearts

Updated: May 19

Imagine your garden overflowing not just with delicious treats for yourself, but with vibrant life meant to nourish others. Picture an extra row, bursting with plump hardneck garlic bulbs, juicy tomatoes or crisp lettuce, each plant whispering a promise of kindness. With a little extra space and a lot of love, you can weave generosity into the very fabric of your garden. This summer, let your love for the earth blossom into a gift for those in need, a testament to the bounty that grows not just from the soil, but from the depths of your caring heart.

This extra row of veggies might just include plump, juicy tomatoes bursting with sunshine flavor, crisp green beans begging to be snapped, and a basket overflowing with hardneck garlic. This isn't just a daydream for lucky homeowners with sprawling yards and garden space. You can cultivate a verdant oasis and become a source of delicious, healthy food not just for yourself, but for your community. In a world where kindness can sometimes feel like a rare commodity, there lies a simple yet profound act that has the power to uplift spirits, nourish bodies, and strengthen communities: growing an extra row of vegetables to share with those in need.

Let's face it, grocery bills have skyrocketed since the pandemic. Fresh fruits and vegetables, those cornerstones of a healthy diet, have become a luxury for some. But what if you could be part of the solution?  Here's where the magic of "growing a row to share" comes in. It's a simple concept with a heartwarming impact. As we navigate the ebbs and flows of life, it's easy to get caught up in our own busy schedules and daily responsibilities. Yet, amidst the hustle and bustle, there exists a quiet opportunity to make a difference—one seed at a time. Imagine the joy of harvesting vibrant hardneck garlic bulbs, tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and hearty carrots not only for your own table but also for the tables of others who may be struggling to put food on theirs.

Planting Seeds of Kindness

All it takes is dedicating a little extra space in your garden, or a corner of your raised bed – to vegetables destined for a brighter purpose. Imagine those extra hardneck garlic bulbs not just gracing your autumn table, but also becoming a stir-fry staple for a family in need. Picture the vibrant red peppers you nurture, eventually transforming into a colorful caprese salad for someone who might not otherwise have access to such fresh ingredients.

The concept is beautifully straightforward: when planning your garden, allocate a small portion of space—a row, a patch to cultivate extra vegetables with the intention of sharing them with those in need. Whether it's donating to your local food bank, sharing with friends and neighbors who lack the space or resources to garden, or simply spreading kindness in your community, the impact of this gesture is immeasurable.

Blooming with Benefits

The beauty of growing a row to share extends far beyond the act of giving. Here's a bouquet of benefits to consider:

  • Minimal Effort, Maximum Impact:  You don't need a complete garden overhaul. Even a small section dedicated to sharing makes a difference.

  • Budget-Friendly Bounty:  The seeds you plant for sharing are an investment in the well-being of others.

  • The Gift of Time:  The time you dedicate to caring for your plants is a gift that keeps on giving, nourishing both you and others.

  • A Celebration of Community:  Sharing your harvest fosters connections with neighbors, food banks, and local charities.

  • A Greener Thumbprint:  Reducing reliance on commercially grown produce lessens your carbon footprint.

Let's Get Growing!

Here are some tips to get you started on your "growing a row to share" journey:

  • Choose Vegetables Wisely:  Opt for high-yielding, easy-to-grow vegetables like garlic, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini. Local food banks can often advise on what's most needed.

  • Space Savers:  Vertical gardening is your friend! Utilize hanging baskets, trellises, or stacking planters to maximize space.

  • Seed Selection:  Look for "open-pollinated" seeds, which means you can save seeds from your harvest for future plantings.

  • Spreading the Word:  Let your neighbors know about your project! They might be inspired to join in, creating a network of "growers for good."

The Harvest of Happiness

As you watch your vegetables flourish, knowing they'll nourish someone in need, a sense of satisfaction will bloom alongside them.  Imagine the smile on the face of a child receiving a bag of fresh green beans, or the gratitude of a family enjoying a home-cooked meal made possible by your generosity. Plant a seed of kindness this season. Let your garden be a haven not just for yourself, but for your community.  You'll be surprised at the abundance of joy that blossoms from sharing a little piece of your harvest.

One of the most heartwarming aspects of this endeavor is its accessibility. Contrary to common misconceptions, you don't need a sprawling farm or a green thumb of mythical proportions to make a difference. All it takes is a little extra care, a pinch of patience, and a handful of seeds.

Let's debunk the myth that growing an extra row of vegetables requires an excessive amount of time, money, or effort. In fact, it's quite the opposite. By incorporating this practice into your gardening routine, you'll find that the additional investment is minimal compared to the immense rewards it brings

Perhaps the most delightful aspect of growing an extra row of vegetables is the joy it brings to both the giver and the receiver. There's something inherently magical about nurturing a seedling, watching it grow and flourish under your care, and ultimately sharing the bounty of your labor with others. It's a tangible reminder of our interconnectedness, our capacity for empathy, and the profound impact of small acts of kindness.

As you plan your garden this season or next season, I invite you to consider the transformative power of growing an extra row of vegetables. Whether you have acres of land or a tiny balcony, whether you're an experienced gardener or a novice enthusiast, you have the ability to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. Together, let's sow the seeds of kindness, cultivate compassion, and harvest a future where no one goes hungry.

GroEat Farm, LLC is a small, sustainable family farm located in Bozeman, Montana.  We’re located in the beautiful Hyalite foothills, below the Gallatin Mountain Range.  The hardneck varieties that grow at our farm (Ophioscorodon) flourish here, due to the combination of the cold winters, temperate summers, moist spring, and the dynamic alluvial soils, washed down from the Gallatin Range (comprised of Archean metamorphics, Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks, and Eocene volcanics).  Not only are the GroEat Hardneck garlic healthy and beautiful, the flavor’s are robust and delicate.


Our mission at GroEat Farm, LLC is to grow premium hardneck garlic, preserve garlic varieties for the future (through propagation), and to provide others with the opportunity to grow garlic from our seed.   We help home gardeners, chefs, small-scale commercial growers, gardeners, plant nurseries, and anyone else looking for better hardneck garlic.  We are continuing a very long tradition of growing quality gourmet and seed hardneck garlic.   

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