Published On: Fri, Jul 6th, 2018

A Cherokee Gardener’s Journal: Grow-A-Row

 

By JODY BRADLEY 

 

Every gardener at some point in time says to himself, “Why did I plant so many?”  I asked myself that the first year I planted spaghetti squash. That questions lead to, “What am I going to do with all these.”  That is when I began researching Grow-A-Row.

America’s Grow-A-Row mission is to positively impact as many lives as possible through a volunteer effort of planting, picking, rescuing, and delivering free fresh produce. They 

    • provide fresh, healthy produce to those in need
    • educate people of all generations about hunger and ways to help
    • introduce our youth to farming and healthy eating
    • cultivate tomorrow’s leaders to give back
    • contribute to the sustainability of agriculture.  

Cherokee’s Grow-A-Row is not that ambitious, yet.  Our Cherokee Grow-A-Row mission is to 

    • Increase the number of growers 
    • Set up more distribution points.  

Grow-A-Row has a simple premise.  While you plant a row of cucumbers for your family, grow a row to donate to the community.  When the cucumbers come in, take them to the distribution point of your choice.  That’s it.  There are two sites:  Dora Reed Child Development and Age Link Child Development. 

Recommended crops are Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage , Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Onions , Peppers, Potatoes, Peas, Swiss Chard, Spaghetti squash , Butternut squash, Okra and Yellow squash.   

Grow-A-Row is a great project for individuals, youth groups, churches, or community clubs.  Plant, harvest, and donate the bounty of a garden to those in need. You may work with your peers to make a difference in their community while learning gardening basics and the importance of community service. With as little as one to four hours a week, you can make a difference in the lives of many Cherokee people. 

You don’t have to be a farmer to Grow-A-Row.  You just need a desire to serve and help others in the community.  Maybe that is why God gave us the green thumbs – to feed the hungry.  

The Office of the Vice Chief sponsors the Cherokee’s Grow-A-Row project which is in its third year.

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