For over ten years, Uptown’s Ginkgo Organic Gardens has been dedicated to growing and giving high-quality organic vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers to local organizations that serve people struggling with poverty, homelessness, and illness.
According to one garden member, “the most challenging part of donating is understanding that many recipients will not share our interest in the more exotic varieties of produce that we like to try in the garden. Sometimes we really have to sell things like dinosaur kale or golden beets, which do not share the easy appeal of heirloom tomatoes.” Before you start donating consider finding out what produce is needed. Ask the agency what the clients like to eat or find out what produce they run out of quickly.
One of the most appealing aspects of Ginkgo’s partnership is that it feels less like a charity and more like a Farmers Market. “We stand around the cart, talking to people who take our produce, telling them stories of the tomatoes and peppers that we just picked. When I leave the pantry, I rarely feel like I’ve donated anything, but instead gained something.”