Local gardeners share their bounty through Channel One

By Christina Killion-Valdez

The Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Grow a Row

Plant a Row is a national program that encourages gardeners to plant one extra row of vegetables and donate their surplus to local food banks and food shelves.

For more information on donating your produce to Channel One , contact Channel One Food Resource Coordinator Vince McCoy, 424-1722 or

There's a certain type of food that people think of when donating to Channel One Food Bank and Food Shelf — nonperishable — but the organization hopes people think outside the box as planting season begins.

"We want the fresh produce," said Susan Siegle, director of client services. "It's nutritionally much better for the clients and it's something most of them are not most likely able to afford on their own. Locally-grown produce is a luxury for people of lower income."

Last year by promoting Grow a Row, an initiative that encourages people to dedicate a portion of their garden for the food shelf, and collaborating with the History Center of Olmsted County and Pace International, the food shelf almost doubled its intake of locally-grown produce, from 280,646 pounds in 2008 to 506,162 pounds in 2009, she said.


A retired farmer dedicated some of his land to raise a large donation of vegies to the program. Read about it in Monday's print edition.--

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