I discovered Portland-based Growing Gardens in the Willamette Week’s annual Give Guide this year. So the first Forkover Friday of 2012 is in celebration of the simple pleasure of gardening. As a fellow gardner, I’ve found that participating in the growing of your own food makes you a lot more in-tune with your health and diet. It can also be a nice money saver during the summer for “cash cow” crops like tomatoes and basil. But most of all it’s such an empowering and exciting feeling to pick and eat something you spent time growing. So fun.
Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace. —May Sarton
What they do: Help low-income Portlanders improve their diets and save money on food by building raised beds in backyards and schoolyards and teaching sustainable organic gardening methods. Growing Gardens has created gardens for nearly 900 Portlanders, 83 percent of whom are still gardening after five years. It also runs after-school garden clubs and community gardening workshops.
How we can help:
- Volunteer to grow vegetable starts to be distributed in the spring.
- Donate seed packets, kid- and adult-sized garden tools, hoses and compost bins.
- Volunteer to help install garden beds, teach workshops or mentor beginning gardeners.
- Donate money to Growing gardens
- Support them on Facebook and Twitter
Who it helps: low-income Portlanders
What non-profit: Growing Gardens
Where: Portland, Oregon
Why: teaching people how to improve their diets and save money
Want to participate in Forkover Friday?
Match my donation of $12 this week to Growing Gardens or pick your own cause and leave a comment below if you feel like sharing!