First Lady Plants Seeds of Volunteerism Vegetable Garden – Will Provide Food for Homeless Shelters

Delawareans Encouraged to Do the Same

April 7, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — To symbolically plant the seeds of volunteerism and real seeds that will produce vegetables, Delaware First Lady Carla Markell planted a new garden today at Woodburn, the official Governor’s residence in Dover. The garden will produce a variety of vegetables that will be donated to area homeless shelters.

The First Lady is encouraging other active gardeners and Delawareans to plant vegetables in the spirit of helping others.

“If you have space, plant an extra row of fruits and vegetables that you can donate directly to those in need,” said First Lady, Carla Markell. “Food banks, shelters and pantries will appreciate the contribution and those in need will benefit from fresh nutritious items that they otherwise might not have on their table. This is one simple, but significant way we can help others. One household, one garden, many recipients.”

“Our garden is about both healthy eating and giving to the community,“ said Governor Jack Markell. “Gardeners reap the rewards in more ways than one when they share their produce with people in need.”

Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Edwin Kee helped break ground on the garden, as did students from Future Farmers of America.

Homeless shelters, food closets/pantries of area churches and Delaware Food Bank will accept surplus fruits and vegetables from residential gardens. According to the Delaware Food Bank, the average harvest from a typical packet of snap beans seeds, for instance, weigh 20 pounds. Dense vegetables such as carrots produce about 100 pounds.

Planted at Woodburn today were cool weather crops of radishes, Swiss Chard, turnips, beets, carrots, peas and nasturtiums (the flowers are used in salads), along with some herbs. Later this spring during warmer weather, tomatoes, peppers, squash, corn, zucchini and string beans will be planted.

Today’s event marked the first of several efforts to generate volunteerism by the First Lady this year, including a special week of service later this month, April 18-24. Last year, the Markells hosted a weekend of service instead of the traditional inaugural ball.

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