America’s Grow-a-Row Has a Lot to Celebrate in April!
America’s Grow-a-Row is a nonprofit farm dedicated to growing, gleaning, and giving fresh produce to our neighbors in need through a volunteer effort. We are excited that National Volunteer Month and Earth Day both occur in April, because volunteers and the Earth’s ability to help us produce are both essential to our mission – plus we are finally seeing the first signs of spring and starting to plant!
We are always grateful for our volunteers, who work in the fields, deliver produce, assist at our education sessions, and help us in every single way. Last year we had over 9,100 volunteers support our mission, and we are hoping to have the same number again this year. We’ve kicked off the growing season this month with potato cutting and onion and cabbage planting. Half of the 1.5 million pounds of produce we grew last year was planted by hand, and 100% was harvested by hand. If you’d like to get involved with a group or as a community volunteer, there’s still time to sign up on our volunteer page. Thank you so much to every volunteer who has supported our mission!
At AGAR we don’t need a special day to celebrate our gratitude for the bounty that Mother Nature offers us – we see amazing examples each and every day at the farm. But since Earth Day falls in April, we’re happy to celebrate a little more! We experience the miracle of life on our farm every growing season. In the spring, we put tiny remnants of something that that has passed and is now totally dead into the soil. These remnants are seeds from inside the fruit of a plant that was once alive. The seeds get buried in our soil and get a little water and a lot of hope, and then the magic – or as our farmers remind us, science – happens. The seeds sprout, and for most crops it takes about 90 days for that little sprout to produce a flower that then becomes a fruit. The circle of life is complete! That fruit (although some call it a vegetable) then becomes part of a meal for someone in need. Without the miraculous way the earth can produce nourishment for our bodies and minds and without our amazing volunteers who help us harvest every single crop by hand, we simply couldn’t fulfill our mission. And for those two things we are forever grateful.