Gleaning Gardener Gathering
A gathering of gardeners working to make our community healthier, more equitable, and more sustainable.
On a rainy February evening, 35 backyard gardeners, aspiring gardeners, business owners, nutritionists, church leaders, and volunteers gathered at South Central Community Action Programs Inc. to discuss how we can support each other and The Gleaning Project's mission to reduce food insecurity throughout the upcoming year.
The idea for this gathering was born at the Adams County Food Policy Council's Food Access Open Forum last November. Several community gardeners had expressed a desire to get together before the growing season to brainstorm tangible ways they could help feed their neighbors. The Gleaning Project heard this call to action and created an opportunity to connect our community.
Our goals were to...
- Answer basic questions about donating garden veggies to The Gleaning Project's Produce Stand at SCCAP
- Connect volunteers (with limited gardening space but a desire to get their hands dirty) to backyard gardeners that might need some extra help
- Share gardening resources such as Penn State Extension Center's Master Gardener Hotline
- Open a discussion about what pesky problems gardeners have encountered and the creative solutions they've experimented with
- Create a platform for ongoing communication among gardeners of all levels of experience
Animated conversation filled the large conference room. Community members raised concerns about... the number of local children eligible for free or reduced lunch, the spotted lantern fly that has been attacking their crops, and the increasing need for social services in our current political and economic climate.
By the end of the gathering, many gardeners pledged to "grow-a-row" for The Gleaning Project. Volunteers expressed their willingness to help weed, water, and harvest. And others promised to help spread the word among neighbors and friends.
The Gleaning Project pledged to create an online forum for gardeners and community members to continue the conversation.
We are pleased to present:
We encourage all gardeners and aspiring gardeners to join this public facebook group in an effort to share tips, techniques, and challenges. We hope this forum will be an inspiring space where gardeners of all levels of experience can work together to improve food access in our community.
Thank you to everyone who attended our first ever Gleaning Gardener Gathering. It is thanks to this type of active engagement that we can continue to implement creative solutions to reduce food insecurity in South Central PA.