I've been volunteering now and again this spring at the Oregon Food Bank'sEastside Learning Garden. Along the way I've helped plant bush beans and calendula, lay garden paths, harvest collards and more. To sign up for Eastside Dig In! shifts go here and fill out a quick form. There's also an OFB Westside Learning Garden in need of volunteers. The last time I was on the OFB site I came across Plant a Row for the Hungry. The gist: plant a row of vegetables and donate all of the food it produces throughout the season to local hunger relief agencies.
Oregon Food Bank has made this national campaign easy with various online Portland maps with Plant a Row drop-off points, contacts and times. There are three drop-off spots in North Portland close to my home so that makes it easy.
I planted my Row for the Hungry this weekend -- well really my small mound -- and I think it'll be make for a nice and diverse mini harvest. I started everything from seed during the past few weeks except the eggplants which a friend gave me.
My Plant a Row for the Hungry:
3 Thai green eggplants
4 royal burgundy bush beans
2 purple calabash tomatoes
2 Cabernet grape tomatoes
1 pineapple tomato
The OFB site has a list of vegetables that they'd most like home gardeners to plant for the campaign. They also remind gardeners to cultivate and harvest vegetables that will store and transport well i.e. harvest your tomatoes when they're a bit under ripe...
Oregon Food Bank's most wanted produce:
Food pantries and soup kitchens need produce that stores and transports well.
Refrigerated space is often limited, so foods that don't require refrigeration are always wanted. Here are some recommendations:
* Tomatoes (pick while slightly under-ripe) * Green beans * Winter squash (acorn or butternut) * Garlic * Hot peppers * Cucumbers * Zucchini * Collard greens * Onions
If you have any additional questions contact Eric Sopkin at 503-282-0555, Ext. 260, or firstname.lastname@example.org.