Posted by: cosmicgarden | April 27, 2009

Lake County Leader Archives News Page

A nice story by Ty at the Leader. I hope we get a few planners lined up!

Gardens against hunger
Posted: Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009 – 01:59:35 pm PDT
By Ty Hampton

POLSON — Money may not grow on trees, but it doesn’t take a lot of green to grow some spare greens to help fight hunger in your community this season.

At least that’s local CPA and avid gardener Cheryl Wolfe’s aim with her newly started effort, the Flathead Reservation Plant A Row for the Hungry campaign. Wolfe has been gardening her entire life and specifically in the Polson area for 14 years now, each year looking forward to her favorite ripe, plentiful tomatoes, squash and even edible flowers — as a delicacy or treat.
“Gardeners are people who love to share, and every year they end up with extra food which they give away,” Wolfe said. “Just think how many pounds of food we could provide if we all planned to plant an extra row this season.”
According to a USDA study, 36 million people, including 13.9 million children, live in households that experience hunger or the risk of hunger on a daily basis — that’s 1 in 8 Americans.

“Everybody wants to help others in their community but not everybody has the cash, this is an easy way to give back,” Wolfe said.
Plant A Row is a nationwide effort that Wolfe is attempting to bring here, one that for the past 15 years has served as a people-helping-people program to help feed the country’s most vulnerable citizens and the agencies serving them in local neighborhoods and communities. By donating produce directly to the food agencies, gardeners help organizations stretch their resources to help feed more mouths.
“Everyone is aware of the need, but maybe not the extent of it locally,” Wolfe said, adding that she doubted it was well known that several local food banks are in dire need of fresh produce.
Plus, nothing beats the taste, nutritional value, cost sustainability, and lack of a carbon footprint than growing and eating your own fresh vegetables. Per example a single cucumber plant can yield up to 15-20 cucumbers, or a single bell pepper plant 6-8 peppers.
The 44-year-old gardener plans to partner with as many area food banks as she can and was told by organizers of Loaves and Fishes in Polson that the need in 2008 was higher than ever and is only on the rise with the economic downturn.
Wolfe plans to hold a planning meeting at 5:30 p.m., on Wednesday April 29 at Loaves and Fishes (#10 8th Ave. East) to organize for a PAR campaign kick-off in May. Interested volunteers will grow extra produce, hand off the crop to a PAR coordinator in their town who will transport to the food bank, where food bank volunteers can ensure that the food gets to those in the community who have the highest need.
“This is my first year doing this and I hope it can become a running thing, starting off small and expanding each year,” Wolfe added.
The Flathead Reservation Plant A Row campaign is currently requesting volunteers to contact Cheryl Wolfe and attend the upcoming April 29 planning meeting.
At the meeting donors and volunteers will receive starter kits as Wolfe wants to make sure that everyone has plenty of plants, seeds, and support. Anyone who can’t make the meeting but still wants to help out  can call Wolfe at anytime for more information.
Experience the power of giving, call Cheryl at 883-3137 or Cathy with the Flathead Reservation Human Rights Coalition at 745-4259. You can also check out the local PAR group’s informational blog at http://cosmiccpa.com/PAR2009/.

Lake County Leader Archives News Page

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