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A Gardener in the Spotlight: Michelle

December 05, 2023
Jamie McCarthy

When gardeners donate their surplus harvests, we love to see it! In the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, Michelle donated tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, green beans and carrots to the First United Methodist church food pantry. The pantry was happy to get them!

Check out our interview with Michelle. We hope it inspires you to grow to give too!

What is your name, what type of garden do you have (rural, suburban, urban, community) and where are you gardening at?

My name is Michelle. We have a rural garden in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

How did you get into gardening?

We began gardening close to 40 years ago when we bought our first house.  It was small because we were in a community with an HOA.

What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a garden?

Start small, don’t overwhelm yourself. Grow what you like to eat. Most of all, have patience.

Michelle’s vegetable garden.

What is your favorite part of gardening?

Favorites parts of gardening are at both ends of the process:  planning and ordering seeds, and then harvesting.

What is your favorite thing to grow?

Favorite thing to grow would be tomatoes. 

Why do you think donating your surplus harvest is important?

We live in one of the least healthiest states.  Helping to provide fresh, healthy vegetables instead of junk or fast food might help.

Has inspired you to donate your surplus harvest? If so, how? and if not, what can we do to improve?

There used to be a program called Grow a Row. We found online.  One way you could improve would be to update local food pantries that accept donations, although I’m sure that depends on the pantries contacting you.

I’m grateful for my garden because…

…it provides us with fresh, healthy food year ’round (we can a lot). It also provides us with a connection to my grandparents who gardened decades ago. I will never stop being in awe of how putting a little seed in the ground gives us food.

You too can donate your surplus harvests. Join and help inspire other gardeners to grow!

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