One year into the pandemic and after enduring a once-in-a-generation winter storm, Central Texans are ready to dig into spring gardening! Our Food Access and Education team helped 433 Spread the Harvest member gardens kick off the spring planting season at our drive-thru Resource Giveaway Day on March 25 at Givens Recreation Center. This was a new record for the number of gardens served at a Resource Giveaway Day!
Spread the Harvest Reaches New Heights
Spread the Harvest helps Central Texans grow their own healthy food by providing free plants, seeds, compost, and organic fertilizer at our Resource Giveaway Days every fall and spring and by giving members year-round access to free seeds and gardening information. Most members are low-income home or community gardeners growing food for their families—302 household gardens received resources.
School gardens enrolled in Spread the Harvest reach thousands of students each year through outdoor classroom activities and help spark a lifelong interest in growing and eating healthy food—97 school gardens received resources.
The third group of gardens within Spread the Harvest is large group gardens, which include a variety of garden types, from communal plots at community gardens that donate their harvest to food pantries to affordable housing communities to nonprofits providing food directly to community members with low food access—34 large group gardens received resources.
When we say that we serve Central Texas gardeners, we mean it: almost 25% of the gardens that received resources are located outside the City of Austin in surrounding counties including Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, and Williamson. The gardening materials we provide at our giveaways each year are transformed into food for thousands of people all over Central Texas. Last year alone, Spread the Harvest members harvested the equivalent of 21,202 meals from their gardens!
We were proud to continue supporting several local companies that sell sustainable gardening supplies. Gabriel Valley Farms delivered us 3900 beautiful vegetable, fruit, and herb transplants, no small feat considering the challenges that they and other producers in Central Texas have faced due to Winter Storm Uri. We also distributed 1800 bags of organic compost from Whittlesey Landscape Supplies, 517 cups of Jobe’s Organics fertilizer, and 5088 seed packets from seed companies including Sustainable Seed Company, Willhite Seed, and True Leaf Market.
Our friends at TreeFolks provided over 130 fruit and shade trees to members to help expand our urban forest. The TreeFolks NeighborWoods season has ended for this spring, but you can visit their website to learn more about the program and sign up to receive a tree this fall.
This successful event would not have been possible without the help of many SFC staff members and volunteers. We’re excited to continue spreading the harvest at our next giveaway in the fall!
Are you interested in joining Spread the Harvest? Read more about the eligibility requirements and sign up here!