A Garden Gives Back: Crops

A Garden Gives Back showhouse project has taken on a life of its own.  Originally, because it’s the way I think, I just thought it would be a good thing to donate the produce to those who most needed it.  That way the garden would benefit not only its host charity, Morristown Memorial Hospital at the front end, but at the back end it would also benefit the community at large via the Interfaith Food Pantry.

I started talking it up locally as well as in the various places I post online.  Like a spring tree bursting into bloom it exploded into something so much larger than what it started off to be.  Now, also because it’s the way I think, that’s a great thing.

Morris County, NJ is one of the richest counties in the United States–always in the top 10 and yet there are 10,000 people who live here at food risk.  I think that’s shameful.

This will be the first of a series of posts about the garden and those donating their time and products to make it a resounding success.  The first order of business beyond the plan and some general meetings was to decide on the crops.  Since the garden is temporary and will really only be in existence for 6-10 weeks of early spring, our choices were limited to cool weather vegetables with short  times to maturity.  Odd and esoteric veggies were excluded. Those selected not only had to do the work in a short time,  but they had to have visual impact–this is after all a display garden.  A few things will be started indoors this week and the rest sowed directly in early April in succession.

Here’s what we decided on:

Sugar Snap Peas

Ruby Red Swiss Chard

Green Curled Kale ‘Ripbor’

Lettuces:  ‘Rouge D’Hiver’, ‘Red Sails’, ‘Jericho’ and a Mesculin mix

Tatsoi (Asian Greens)

Sylvetta (Arugula)

Radishes ‘Pink Beauty’

Beets ‘Chioggia Guardsmark’

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5 thoughts on “A Garden Gives Back: Crops

  1. Susan – So excited about this project, and looking forward to hearing about it as it progresses! I was admiring the demonstration (rooftop!) vegetable garden in the most recent Garden Design mag. In a way, annual vegetables are the perfect thing for a demonstration garden, since you really want to pop them in, grow them on, and eat them up. And luckily, spring greens give you some beautiful foliage to play with this time of year.

  2. Well done, Susan. Willing voluntary efforts have been helping Americans for decades if not centuries. You have assessed a need and have delivered at least your branch of a hopeful and promising lead into feeding people good, healthy food. I admire that beyond measure.

  3. I’m excited for you and your project. Sounds like you’ve got something good going on.
    I linked my blog entry on a the same topic (organic food-assistance) to your post.
    Let me know if you want to be removed.


    Why in the world would I want it removed? The more people who speak the truth the better. Thank you for the link!

  4. I’ve been really tardy in my replies this week. Carolyn, so glad you’re excited. The rain this weekend will slow us down a bit since we had hoped to start tomorrow.

  5. Thank you Steve. I was tired of it always being about how to get more work, how to get more publicity, how to get more for ME. There’s a big world out there and I can help.

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