All Posts   Posted:   May 10, 2017 by Nicole Forbes - Dennis' 7 Dees Education

Dennis’ 7 Dees Garden Centers are participating for the second year in a national campaign to help fight hunger in our communities called Plant a Row for the Hungry. The purpose of the program is to get extra produce grown by home gardeners to local food pantries by making donation drop-offs more convenient. Each of our retail locations are prepared to accept your freshly harvested donations during business hours every Wednesday and Friday; all donated produce will be taken directly to the nearest food pantry to benefit those in need.

As a national campaign, sponsored by the Garden Writers Association, this program has been responsible for facilitating the donation of over 22 million pounds of home-grown produce over the past 20+ years. Most of our garden center locations also participate by growing their own edibles on-site and harvest and donate them to the program. Next time you visit one of our (Portland-area stores), look for our large, yellow boxes located in the edibles department; these 3’X3’ containers are planted and changed-out three times each year to provide us with the opportunity to grow spring, summer and fall/winter crops of nearly year-round edibles for donation. Our combined efforts just from these boxes last season led to more than 120 pounds of fresh produce distributed to hungry neighbors and local families (it doesn’t take a lot of space to make a difference).

We made our first donation last Friday of produce harvested from display planters at each garden center location; the planters had been growing cool-season crops that were all coming ripe and the planters were scheduled to be replanted with warm-season crops this week. Each garden center harvested about 20lbs of fresh spinach, kale, mustard greens, lettuce, peas, carrots, beets and Romanesco; we had a total of 9 coolers packed with over 60lbs of produce to deliver for our first visit to our local food pantry! When arriving at the food pantry on Friday evening they were open to the public and there were several people picking up donated food. The fresh food offerings for the day consisted of a wilted package of celery and a shriveled lemon accompanied by the usual array of processed & packaged goods. Volunteers quickly assembled when asked for help carrying the many coolers in from the car and as they were brought in the contents were emptied and began to disappear before our very eyes. It was an emotional experience to be a part of – for both the donor and the recipients. One woman who was there with her elderly parents called her mother over to look into a cooler full of fresh kale and when faced with such bounty the older woman burst into tears and simply thanked us with a hug.

While you are planning your garden for yourself this season, plant a little extra with the intention of sharing the bounty. Stop in to any of our locations to find out how you can get involved – we are encouraging multiple donations by offering a punch-card to those who want to participate; after 5 donations you will receive a free 4lb. bag of organic G&B Tomato, Vegetable, and Herb fertilizer to help you grow more!

Thanks for reading this message, it only takes a handful of beans, tomatoes or one zucchini to make a difference when we all pool our efforts together! Happy gardening, please contact us if you have any questions about this program.

Happy Gardening ~ Share the Bounty!

Guidelines for handling fresh fruits and vegetables:

  • Pick early in the day for best quality.
  • Keep produce out of the heat and in the shade.
  • For delicate produce like tomatoes and berries, avoid deep containers; the weight on top damages the produce below.
  • Deliver to Dennis’ 7 Dees soon after harvest to retain freshness and quality.

Dennis’ 7 Dees Garden Centers are participating for the second year in a national campaign to help fight hunger in our communities called Plant a Row for the Hungry. The purpose of the program is to get extra produce grown by home gardeners to local food pantries by making donation drop-offs more convenient. Each of our retail locations are prepared to accept your freshly harvested donations during business hours every Wednesday and Friday; all donated produce will be taken directly to the nearest food pantry to benefit those in need.

As a national campaign, sponsored by the Garden Writers Association, this program has been responsible for facilitating the donation of over 22 million pounds of home-grown produce over the past 20+ years. Most of our garden center locations also participate by growing their own edibles on-site and harvest and donate them to the program. Next time you visit one of our (Portland-area stores), look for our large, yellow boxes located in the edibles department; these 3’X3’ containers are planted and changed-out three times each year to provide us with the opportunity to grow spring, summer and fall/winter crops of nearly year-round edibles for donation. Our combined efforts just from these boxes last season led to more than 120 pounds of fresh produce distributed to hungry neighbors and local families (it doesn’t take a lot of space to make a difference).

We made our first donation last Friday of produce harvested from display planters at each garden center location; the planters had been growing cool-season crops that were all coming ripe and the planters were scheduled to be replanted with warm-season crops this week. Each garden center harvested about 20lbs of fresh spinach, kale, mustard greens, lettuce, peas, carrots, beets and Romanesco; we had a total of 9 coolers packed with over 60lbs of produce to deliver for our first visit to our local food pantry! When arriving at the food pantry on Friday evening they were open to the public and there were several people picking up donated food. The fresh food offerings for the day consisted of a wilted package of celery and a shriveled lemon accompanied by the usual array of processed & packaged goods. Volunteers quickly assembled when asked for help carrying the many coolers in from the car and as they were brought in the contents were emptied and began to disappear before our very eyes. It was an emotional experience to be a part of – for both the donor and the recipients. One woman who was there with her elderly parents called her mother over to look into a cooler full of fresh kale and when faced with such bounty the older woman burst into tears and simply thanked us with a hug.

While you are planning your garden for yourself this season, plant a little extra with the intention of sharing the bounty. Stop in to any of our locations to find out how you can get involved – we are encouraging multiple donations by offering a punch-card to those who want to participate; after 5 donations you will receive a free 4lb. bag of organic G&B Tomato, Vegetable, and Herb fertilizer to help you grow more!

Thanks for reading this message, it only takes a handful of beans, tomatoes or one zucchini to make a difference when we all pool our efforts together! Happy gardening, please contact us if you have any questions about this program.

Happy Gardening ~ Share the Bounty!

Guidelines for handling fresh fruits and vegetables:

  • Pick early in the day for best quality.
  • Keep produce out of the heat and in the shade.
  • For delicate produce like tomatoes and berries, avoid deep containers; the weight on top damages the produce below.
  • Deliver to Dennis’ 7 Dees soon after harvest to retain freshness and quality.