Alone we are one drop. Together we are an ocean.
Sometimes Gleaning Coordinators have dreams, but it takes the power of volunteers to make those dreams come true.
Building raised beds at the Gettysburg SCCAP office has been on our to-do list for years now. We envisioned beautiful gardens not far from the produce stand, available to all. We wanted to be able to offer fresh herbs to complement the variety of produce we distribute, and create an educational space to demonstrate just how much you can grow in a small "downtown" location.
But before we could focus on raised beds, we had to focus on building a walk-in cooler, gleaning TONS of produce, distributing that produce in a timely manner, coordinating food preservation and cooking classes, managing an off site community garden, coordinating fundraisers, hosting appreciation events, whewww, there was so much to do, and so little time. Our raised bed dream sat in a folder called "someday, maybe".
This winter, volunteers Brenda and Donnie Althoff offered to help facilitate the raised bed project. They sketched a design, worked with Lowes to receive a discount on lumber, and when the snow finally stopped, the Althoff crew turned our dream into a reality.
When we were ready to plant, Countryside Gardens donated nutrient rich soil, and beautiful herb, tomato, and pepper seedlings. We also received plant donations from generous backyard gardener, Steve Koons.
Now, the beds are planted, and we've harvested our first clippings of herbs. Before long our tomatoes, tomatillos, and peppers will be destined for the dinner table. We invite children and adults alike to taste a fresh sun gold tomato, try a nasturtium flower, and learn about stevia, a natural diabetic-friendly sweetener.
Our only rule: Be mindful of others. Help yourselves, and take what you'll use, but remember that this space is for everyone (including the bees and the butterflies)! If you'd like to bring a group of adults or children out to visit our gardens, just let us know. We hope to spread the word about small space gardening and are happy to share resources.
Thank you to the Althoff family for making our wildest dreams come true! The Gleaning Project is only as good as our volunteers make us. With limited paid staff, we rely on the skills, knowledge, and hard work of our community members. We believe that every person is valuable, so let us know if you're a builder, a photographer, a mechanic, or an artist. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas of how to make our community healthier, happier, and more sustainable. Alone we are one drop. Together we are an ocean.