Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sharing Our Harvest

I have been working on inventory in the shop. Today, I announced on the news page of our website that we will not be holding an Odds and Ends soap sale. Instead, I will be installing clearance sections into our online soap store. My goal is to have this completed by 1/12/09.

Onto a different, and very important topic...last night a friend forwarded an article to me out of one of our local newspapers. My friend, Bob, knows that I am very much interested in agriculture, small business, and ways to support others (beyond monetary). From reading the article, the brain wheels started turning. It is amazing what we think of when we really put our minds to work.

How many times have we had such a bounty of vegetables grow from our gardens, even after canning and freezing, that we have turned to giving extra food items away before they spoil? We give the food to neighbors, friends, co-workers, but how often do we give the food to the homeless, shelters, or food banks? And I began thinking this goes beyond perishable vegetables, what do we do with our unwanted soap products? We might think that the bar of lemon soap, for example, is way too lemony for us, or way too lemony to sell, and perhaps too ugly. But who says that small and ugly soap would not help inspire a person in the shelter to see a brighter horizon? Or what if that soap puts a smile on that person's face for one day?

To keep this article within reasonable length, I am going to insert bits and pieces and links of what I have read today.

Meetings are going to be held locally regarding the aspects of development of a local community garden, put together by volunteers, with the produce being given directly to local ministries and related organizations (the last sentence really touched my heart):

"Sugartree Ministries is likely to receive the greatest amount of produce from the farm, based on the heavy community involvement and its central location, said Swindler. “I’m very excited about what this could mean for feeding people in Wilmington,” said Willoughby. And, he said, for the people themselves. Just imagine a sign over a mound of fresh produce, reading something like this: grown especially for you, by your neighbors."

I did a Google search on charity gardens. Americans may have a lot to learn from our friends across the seas. Entities such as the following have been around for quite some time:

"Few people realize that through this we raise £2 million each year for nursing, caring and gardening charities. Since 1927 we have raised over £40 million (£22 million in the last 10 years). Our office is small so most of the money goes straight to the charities we support."

I found good links for ways to share your local harvest, and if I had the time just this very moment, I would imagine there are many more links on the internet. These are now bookmarked, and I will be reading more! Here is one example:
"Rather than alienate friends and family with the results of your exuberant gardening turn to those who would truly appreciate it- the needy poor in your community. When your neighbors lock their doors, and your family shuns your tomatoes- look to your neighbors elsewhere in your community so that your efforts will not go to waste but uplift the hearts and souls of people in need."



KathyB. said...

Yes! We do have people in our area donate farm produce to local food banks, but there is not a lot of attention given to this . I have a friend very interested in turning some of her acreage into a garden for producing vegetables for the poor.

Really, I suppose if even a few more of us take this to heart then so many government funded programs just might not be necessary. We can dream!

Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff!

Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

Kathy, that is a great point about lessening the need of the government programs!

Thanks, Amy, I thought so too. :)