Local residents work collectively to enjoy the fruits and vegetables of their labors as increasing fuel prices drive the cost of food higher.
Zebulon. NC April 12, 2012: Many North Carolina residents are finding budgeting harder and choices fewer as gasoline prices continue to rise. In order to keep healthy food on their and their neighbors’ tables, some are turning to gardening.
Gardening is quickly becoming the way good food gets into communities where money is in short supply. Neighborhoods are banding together to help each other eat well with a little combined effort... they can’t change the price of gas, but they can change how they get their food.
“In talking with local gardeners, the trend seems to be increasing the size of their gardens a little bit each year. Whatever their motivation—a desire to relieve a neighbor’s hunger, fill a food bank’s shelves, feel better about themselves, or fulfill a sense of duty—these people end up in their gardens,” said Kay Whatley of Grow And Share.
“It’s as if the ‘back to the land’ movement has been reborn. As gardening expands, people are asking each other ‘Buddy can you spare some time?’ as planting and weeding becomes a part of daily life and pitching in means more meals for more people.
One Zebulon NC nonprofit is encouraging everyone -- yes, everyone -- to take a little time and grow a little or a lot. Grow and Share provides gardening classes to teach people of all ages the art of gardening. Additionally, the organization grows plants to give away so residents, who don’t have funds to begin, can start their food gardens. The catch: only those who sign a pledge to grow more than they need and to share their harvest in their area can receive free plants.
Residents of NC and many other states have pledged with Grow and Share each year since its beginnings in 2008. Some pledge with plants they purchased, without using Grow and Share’s plants, just to help their communities.
“Gardening is more than just digging in the dirt,” says Leslie Flowers, Board Member with Grow and Share. “Gardening is about communities taking care of their own.”
Grow and Share is kicking of the gardening season with a community family-friendly event: the 2012 Giveaway & Festival on Saturday at Norris Creek Outdoor Entertainment Complex.
This free music festival opens at Noon on Saturday, April 14th. The lineup of live bands starts with Steph Stewart and the Boyfriends, followed by Old Avenue, and then Jo Gore and The Alternative. Between bands, performers keep the crowd entertained. Tasty foods and snacks will be available throughout the event. The Giveaway & Festival 2012 wraps up just before 5pm.
Vendors offer a variety of locally made and specialty goods. Other nonprofits will share information on their community services. And, several vendor booths will be “gardening education stations” to learn from expert gardeners and even play in the dirt! Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Nutrition Education Programs will be present to talk about gardening, nutrition, and healthy foods.
Sponsors include Debnam Hardware, The Grey Area newspaper, Zebulon Chamber Of Commerce, New Addiction Tattoo & Body Piercing, and The Kila Company. The festival and Spring plant giveaway is designed to be fun for the whole community AND to bring much-needed fresh-grown food to local tables.”
For more information on supporting the festival, or attending for the music and plants, visit www.growandshare.org or call 919.269.5414. Information on the venue, Norris Creek Outdoor Entertainment Complex in Louisburg, NC, is online at www.norriscreek.com.
About Grow And Share
Grow and Share is an educational organization working with US residents to fight hunger by offering gardening classes, plant and seed distribution, and community-building support. Events are designed to educate community members on how to care for their community and family from within through local food growth and sharing.