Updated: Nov 20
In September, getstarted, with the help of our terrific volunteer and native Spanish speaker Laima, distributed vegetable starts to over 125 families at three food pantries in Petaluma. Now that they’ve had time to grow, we circled back to check in with the “Growers” to see how they and their plants are doing.
Everyone expressed their sincere gratitude to their neighbors for growing their starts, thought it was a great program, and look forward to more plants in the future! Overall, the lettuces and cilantro are already being enjoyed, and the broccoli, despite caterpillar munching, are growing steadily.
Here are some of your neighbors’ responses, in their own words:
“The cilantro is doing great and I’m making salsa a lot. The lettuce grew easily. It’s nice to have fresh vegetables right outside and not have to go get them at the store.” —Beverly S.
“The broccoli is growing. The cilantro and lettuces I use to make tacos. I like salad very much. I share some of the vegetables with my neighbors. Thank you.” —Derrick N.
“My daughter planted them and they’re doing good! Thank you.” —Maria E.
“It was easy, because it didn’t need much work and didn’t need a special place—my mother and I just had to put them in the ground. The only food it needed was water every day. The deer ate the lettuce, but we use the cilantro every day and didn’t have to buy any for a few weeks so that was good.” —Jacque
“I’m not a green thumb person, but they’re growing!” —Fred S.
“The lettuce is fantastic and still growing! They were really healthy plants—the people who grew them really knew what they were doing. They did an excellent job and it’s exciting to see them grow.” —Ella T.
And from our food pantry partners:
“Our food pantry clients were surprised by the offer of free vegetable plants, and touched when they heard that neighbors who cared about their situation took the time to grow them. We are indeed grateful to getstarted who brought a unique, happy and fresh component to the on-going, critical work we do, and we look forward to welcoming them back to share more plants and their thoughtful support for our community. ” —Salvation Army Petaluma Corps Officer Major Mitham Clement
“The families who attend our weekly food pantry were really pleased to get veggie starts along with their groceries. There is something both hopeful and empowering in the act of growing your own food and I saw this in the families who benefited from our wonderful collaboration with the getstarted program. We would love to continue to offer our families the opportunity to get ‘grounded’ and share with their children the joys of eating healthy organic food from their own garden.” —Catherine Crotty, Coordinator, ESL and Petaluma Family Resource Center
“As a volunteer to the West Side Interfaith Pantry at Elim Lutheran Church, I am the coordinator for the St. Vincent’s contribution to this mission. As such, I am pleased that the getstarted program has made an outreach to our Pantry. The program has provided edible vegetable starts as gifts to our needy families. By all accounts, the recipients were very pleased with this additional support to their wellbeing.” —Stephen P. Collins
Thanks again, Starters, and hope you and your gardens are thriving.
-Cara Storm, director (and fellow Starter)
PS The answer to the question posted in the last blog post: TOMATOES! Did you guess right? : )