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Executive Director Columns

March 2023

Garden-in-a-Box Giveaway: Helping our community reap what they sow and eat what they grow

The month of March signifies growth, and in the five months since joining Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. as executive director, it’s been a gratifying path of progress. We’ve recruited and trained a slate of new emergency food pantry volunteers, established several collaborative relationships with neighboring businesses, significantly improved and evolved our food programs, solidified our plan to energize our building with the power of sunlight and welcomed many new members and donors.

And there’s so much more on the horizon. As we eagerly stalk spring and prepare for dueling weather emblems — blooms, blizzards and beautifying our gardens — we’re gearing up for an exciting year of fundraisers and community events, the first of which is our Garden-in-a-Box giveaway, an annual seed-and-plant bonanza that takes place from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 13 at our office located at 2823 Fairfax Street.

It’s a wonderful — and free — program benefitting novice gardeners and low-income individuals and families who need a little assistance jumpstarting their own garden plots. And it’s a program that reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from author and journalist Michael Pollan: “Ripe vegetables were magic to me. Unharvested, the garden bristled with possibility. I would quicken at the sight of a ripe tomato, sounding its redness from deep amidst the undifferentiated green. To lift a plant’s hood of heart-shaped leaves and discover a clutch of long slender pods hanging underneath could make me catch my breath.”

Pollan isn’t alone in his enthusiasm for gardens of eating. We’re already swooping on the slightest signs of the green of spring, and our Garden-in-a-Box program inspires our neighbors to sow the seeds of love in their own oases. Each “garden in a box” kit contains seedlings and multiple vegetable, herb, fruit and flower seeds to grow a 4×4 plot, plus planting tools, blank plant markers and an information packet that includes a detailed gardening plan, seed and seedling planting instructions and tips from local garden experts.

If you or someone you know would like to register for a free Garden-in-a-Box kit, visit Boxes are limited, so we encourage you get your requests in soon.

Like all our community initiatives, our Garden-in-a-Box giveaway is a no-cost program, but to keep it that way, we rely on in-kind donations from neighboring businesses and individuals. If you own or operate a vegetable farm, garden center, plant nursery, market or hardware store, or you’re an avid gardener who happens to hoard seeds, trowels and other gardening supplies, we would greatly appreciate it if you’d consider donating the items below:

Vegetable and herb seed packets
Flower and wildflower seed packets that attract bees
Vegetable seedlings
Hand trowels
Seedling starter pots and trays
Small bags of outdoor potting soil
Vegetable garden fertilizer
Gardening gloves

Donations can be dropped off at 2823 Fairfax Street between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and between noon and 5 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Help our Greater Park Hill community reap what they sow and eat what they grow.

With gratitude,