Newsletter 4.23.2020

Connecting children to healthy food and nature
Gardens Matter
Having a garden provides many health benefits. Being outside tending your garden provides you with Vitamin-D and exercise. Gardens also help the planet and provide the access to food for us and for birds, bees, and other insects.

Did you know gardens have helped our country get through difficult times in the past? During World War I and World War II, 20 million victory gardens were planted across the United States. Victory Gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens planted at private residences and public parks. By 1944, Victory Gardens were responsible for producing 40% of all vegetables grown in the United States. Gardens have the power to decrease food insecurity and improve public health.GROW Update:
Just like you, our normal has been turned upside down. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to provide our community with resources to connect to healthy food and nature.
Innovation and Safety in Uncertain Times.
We are using change as an opportunity to be innovative. We have worked with other School Garden Support Organizations from around the country to develop a new safety protocol for garden maintenance for a productive growing season. These guidelines will allow us to plant the gardens and be ready for programming when it does resume. We are taking this week to get the gardens ready for this maintenance plan with sanitizing stations, drip hoses and signs.
GROW employees and interns are teleworking. 
We miss leading lessons with the children, especially during these nice spring days. Even though our school and farm programming is halted, we continue to work together on innovative ways to bring children resources, hands-on activities, and videos related to healthy food and nature.
We have applied for the Paycheck Protection Program. 
We want to protect funds dedicated to our school garden and farm camp programs. Your financial support needs to continue to serve children. We are hoping to get a PPP loan to help build three new gardens at schools that have requested gardens. If we do not receive funding, we will be looking for other sources of funding to help get this done. In the past, building gardens have been done through GROW-led volunteer parties. This will look much different, but we still have ways we would like to incorporate help.
Stay tuned.
We are working with our Local Food Group to provide free seeds and transplants to enable families to grow fresh produce. We have four Thrivent Action Teams and some donors dedicated to this project and we are looking for a few more.In some of the past few years, GROW and/or Hillview have done plant sales. We currently do not have use of the Western Tech. greenhouse space which makes this event much harder. We are looking into Garden Box options for pick up or delivery in early May to take place of our once loved plant sales.  More information coming soon.Join us for virtual GROWing Generosity on Thursday, May 14th on Facebook. There will be quarantine-friendly silent auction gifts and some guest appearances.Message from GROW Staff!
Our GROW staff misses you! Watch this video to hear a special message from our program directors, and some garden tips you can try at home. Please follow GROW on Facebook for more activities to keep kids engaged.Donate