NOTE: This is the first in a series of profiles by the Come to the Table Project of faith-led projects that are relieving hunger and supporting local farms in North Carolina.
It’s that time of year when gardeners begin to plan their gardens and order seed for the growing season. For some folks, the cost and time of starting plants can be prohibitive, and that’s where Grow and Share comes in. Based in Zebulon, Grow and Share donates over 20,000 seeds and starter plants to residents of the Triangle and eastern NC every year. The non-profit provides plants and educational workshops to families, churches, and organizations in exchange for a pledge from participants to share some of their garden’s bounty with their community. Participants can make requests for Grow and Share to raise particular plants in its greenhouses in Zebulon and Wendell, and the starter plants will be available by mid-April. Grow and Share’s mission is to provide support and resources to families and groups that will consume and share the harvest, so plants are not typically available for income-generating projects.
Grow and Share founders Kay and Frank Whately cite Leviticus 19:9-10, which reads, in part, “[D]o not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest…Leave them for the poor and the foreigner,” as part of the inspiration for their work; if each gardener who receives plants from Grow and Share allocates some of the harvest for families in need, there will be more healthy, fresh food available for participants to share with neighbors or bring to local food ministries. Grow and Share’s website has a list of churches and agencies that accept fresh produce from Grow and Share participants to distribute to local residents.
If you would like to learn more about how to request plants, participate in gardening workshops, or receive donations of harvested produce, email [email protected]