The Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s Grow More, Give More initiative will be the focus of Alabama Public Television’s next installment in its “Spotlight on Agriculture” series at 9 p.m. Feb. 24. Grow More, Give More is a program through which home gardeners grow and donate fresh produce to help fight hunger and food insecurity in Alabama communities.
Grow More, Give More was developed two years ago at the very start of the Covid-19 pandemic by Bethany O’Rear, a Regional Extension Agent in Birmingham.
“Bethany had the vision of addressing the need for a fresh, locally-grown supply of fruits and vegetables,” according to Mike Phillips, director of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System at Auburn University.
“The concern at the front of the pandemic was a scarcity of seed as well as locally grown products,” Phillips said. “Grow More, Give More has been tremendously successful in not only addressing the availability of locally grown products, but has engaged people of all ages in growing fresh produce, improving the diet for many. The largest impact of this program has been addressing food insecurity. One in four people in our geographic region are recognized as food insecure.”
“As the 2022 garden season gets underway, we welcome all gardeners to join the program and help their local communities,” he said. “Just call your County Extension Office to get started.”
Home gardeners participating in Grow More, Give More grow fresh fruits and vegetables that are then donated to local food banks and community centers throughout the state. Participants work from a broad range of home gardens — from five-gallon buckets on a patio to large, tilled plots. The program includes longtime experienced growers as well as novice gardeners.
Grow More, Give More offers participants access to local Alabama extension agents as well as Master Gardeners, who consult on issues such as integrated pest management, cool-season growing, attracting pollinators and more. Resources also are available through a Master Gardeners Helpline as well as a variety of online tutorials, videos and webinars. Participants also can consult with local garden centers that display the Grow More, Give More logo.
For more information on Grow More, Give More, visit aces.edu/grow-more-give-more.