Grow a Row

Monek Marie
Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 2021 in Other News

I have participated in a program called Grow a Row for years. They used to send you seeds to participate but I am not sure if they do that anymore. After my first year of participating I just bought seeds, usually the cheap,ones and did it myself. Now I save seeds for the project.

The idea was to grow a row of any one vegetable and give it away, either to neighbors or a food bank. I have done this for over 15 years. I have also got my friends and neighbors to do this too. I have found if they were not gardeners they started to grow a few garden plants for themselves after doing this.

I usually grow beans, carrots and cherry tomatoes at different times during the spring summer or fall. The carrots and tomatoes can be grown in a very small space and I just line the beans along a walkway then pull out after harvest.

Its a fun project. I have had my nieces and nephews help me and they have learned a lot and felt good about a worthwhile project.

I have a stash of carrot and bean seeds that I hand out to encourage people to participate in this project.

I started this when I dad was seriously hurt at work and we had no food. I knew how difficult it was for my mom to make a meal and knew others could have the same problem at times.


  • Brindy
    Brindy Posts: 212 ✭✭✭

    I love this idea. I think I'll adapt it and do the last plant of each that I grow so there will be variety. Thank you!

  • ltwickey
    ltwickey Posts: 369 ✭✭✭

    What a beautiful idea. Getting out and growing AND giving back to your community! Win, Win!!

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,019 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you can't have a garden or enough room to grow for your family and some might check with your local food bank and see if they have a garden area and they might need help caring for the garden. Either getting things planted to start with or caring for it afterward. I live in a very small village and our little food bank serves our village as well as a couple other small villages near us. A local church donated some space and volunteers put up a couple greenhouses the food bank was able to get a grant for. It provided quite a bit of fresh vegetables for them. A lot of us donated extra starter plants and/or seeds to get it going. I wasn't able to volunteer but was able to donate a lot of extra plant starts when we had so much of ours actually grow.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    A county near me has an extensive grow-a-row program linked with their Lawns to Lettuce program. They often host builds of boxes for raised beds. They supply all the materials and you can make one for yourself and make one for them to donate to someone.

    They also have people keep track of how much food they grow and donate to the local food banks. I think the whole program that they have developed there is really great.

    They also have a "farmers market" where they give away food to families in need, which is not connected to the food banks.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One year a group I volunteered for made window boxes, about 2 foot long. The community could come and make a box, totally free. It had 5 plants in of their choice. The small towns loved it and you could drive through town and see all ther boxes on porches.

    It was a great children's project where they planted right there so you could help them. It pulled the communities together too. We did about 5 communities for 6 years.

    All materials were donated so it was free for us to do. We did have a donation box if anyone wanted to donate but it was not pushed.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 994 ✭✭✭✭

    Great idea.

  • Silkiemamuska
    Silkiemamuska Posts: 99 ✭✭✭

    Wonderful concept! Take care of our community and perhaps get kids involved too.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Its time to plan my grow a row again. I have done this project for so many years I really don;t know when I started it. My first seeds were sent to me. Since then I save seeds and save a bit of space. I usually us an area that I won't miss ther crop when its gone or plant in containers and replant flower when I am done.

    This year I am growing beans, lettuce, spinach and ground cherries. No one grows gropund cherries for this project that I know of so it should be a nice surprise. The beans and lettuce will be early. I have a space saver spinach that actually does well in heat so that will be my second crop and ther ground cherries might get donated to two places.

    One food bank, and a vet organization will get most of the donations.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    The conservation district in the county south of me has a lady who has gotten donations of materials to build raised garden beds. She posts when she has the supplies and post for people to come to her place to build a couple of raised beds, one for donation and one for yourself. Another really great project besides their food donations.

  • water2world
    water2world Posts: 1,088 ✭✭✭✭

    @Monek Marie I absolutely love this idea!! I am going to do this---thank you for the inspiration!