The night before Botanical Interests®’ Harvest Moon Food Drive, I was worried that I didn’t have enough left in my garden to harvest and share. I had been looking forward to this time for weeks and now that it was here, I felt defeated. However, the morning of the event, I went out to my garden, walked between the raised garden beds, and noticed my Swiss chard. Red-stemmed with big green leaves, I began pulling three and four stalks at a time. As I was working, I remembered I had a large patch of cilantro. By that time, a few Botanical Interests employees had arrived to help. They began cutting the cilantro and tying them in bundles. But my wheels kept turning. I also thought of the moss curled parsley and the Anaheim chile peppers that were still basking in the sun, waiting for harvest. Before we knew it, we had gathered several shopping bags and boxes of fresh-picked produce. But that wasn’t the end of the harvest. Many other Botanical Interests’ employees were waiting back at the warehouse with more donations.
When we met Tom Reed at Community Food Share in Louisville, CO, and unloaded the vegetables and herbs, and even some colorful floral bouquets, I discovered that our small effort this morning had resulted in 150 pounds of homegrown, healthful food donations! It was truly fulfilling to load up their counter and know that what I had picked just a few hours before was now immediately available to the community. And it was so much fun! The food drive not only collected food donations, but it brought us together as our own Botanical Interests community.
From the little bit we do each year at the Harvest Moon Food Drive, I hope we can inspire others to take inventory of their gardens and share what they have grown. Even if you think you have nothing left, take another walk through your garden. Just like I did, I’m sure you’ll see something useful or beautiful. Even the smallest donations mean the world to someone in need.