Plot Against Hunger 2020 event.
File photo by Shirley Ruhe
What better way to celebrate the coming Spring season than joining the Plot Against Hunger’s Spring Garden Kickoff on March 13? It will include remarks from County Board members as well as discussions with gardeners and food pantries and popcorn gardening sessions. This is the beginning of a week of activities, both virtual and in person, which brings together potential gardeners interested in learning how to grow produce for feeding the community.
Bring the kids to the Central Library on Monday, March 15 from 12-2 p.m. to pick up a seed kit to kick start growing vegetables. Let the kids choose from a 3 Sisters Kit containing corn, beans and squash or a Lettuce in Pots Kit designed for gardening in small spaces. Then on Wednesday, March 17, from 7-8 p.m. you can learn what to do with those seeds by hearing from experts who have started gardens including a school and local church. Learn why they donate produce to local food pantries.
On Saturday, March 20 you can get specific information learning how to have a Plot Against Hunger Garden by viewing demonstrations of various gardening techniques.
Becky Halbe, on the Plot Against Hunger Steering Committee, explains a garden plot can be anything from an individual’s home garden, an apartment dweller’s balcony container garden or gardens in a faith-based, school property or neighborhood cooperative. The idea is to share the produce, whatever you grow, with needy families in the community.
In January, 2021 the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) transitioned ownership of the Plot Against Hunger Program to the Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture (FOUA). The Plot Against Hunger program had donated over 600,000 pounds of fresh produce to AFAC since its inception in 2007. When AFAC saw a large increase in the number of clients needing assistance during the pandemic, they shifted their resources to their core mission of providing supplemental groceries to Arlington families in need.
This led to the transitioning and continuation of the program as a collaborative effort. Robin Broder, President of Friends of Urban Agriculture, says, “We’re excited about this transition. Now AFAC can concentrate on food distribution and Friends of Urban Agriculture can concentrate on food production.”
The Plot Against Hunter Spring Garden Kickoff is a week-long event March 13-20. It is sponsored by the Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia, Marymount University, and the Plot Against Hunger steering Committee.