Spend Yourself® Gardens
Since 2010, the Spend Yourself® Gardens have demonstrated to Food Pantry clients how to grow vegetables and have supplied vegetables and herbs to the Food Pantry. We have four gardens. Two gardens are located at our Falls Church Campus, one in the vacant lot by our 301 Building (301 Garden) and one near our Child Development Center (CDC Garden). Using 34 Earth Boxes, volunteers grow vegetables and herbs in our 301 gardens, and the CDC staff, parents and children grow vegetable and herbs using 16 earth boxes and a bean teepee in their CDC garden. Our largest garden is located at our Crossroads campus where our food pantry is located. Food pantry families help volunteers grow vegetables and herbs in fourteen 4’ by 4’ raised beds, one 4’ by 40’ raised bed, one 27’ by 10’ in-ground garden, potato towers, and containers. Our fourth garden is located in Fairfax County’s Pine Ridge Park.
2015 Garden Statistics
Through December 31, 2015 we provided the Food Pantry with 1,923 pounds of produce. 1,484 pounds pounds of produce came from our Spend Yourself® Gardens (48% increase over 2014), and 439 pounds from members and neighbor’s home gardens
During 2016, there are various ways you can join us in helping us grow fresh, local produce to share with families who visit the Food Pantry. Contact Georgiana Hall for more information or to sign up for any of these opportunities:
Water, weed and harvest produce from one of three Spend Yourself ® Gardens for a week or more.
- DONATE LEFTOVER GARDEN ITEMS
Are you spring cleaning or downsizing? Our gardens can use your excess tools.
- HOME GARDENS
Donate a portions of the produce from your home garden to the Food Pantry.
- PRODUCE INPUT
On Saturday mornings we need a team of volunteers to process produce delivered by Spend Yourself® and home gardeners for distribution to food pantry clients. Duties include receiving produce from gardeners, weighing and logging produce and packaging it for distribution by food pantry volunteers to clients.
For our volunteers, clients and the gardens.
Classes take place the first Saturday of January through June
from 8:15-9:15am at our Food Pantry locations. Directions
In a cooperative effort with The Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Spend Yourself® Gardens offers free Nutrition classes and cooking demonstrations to teach Columbia's Food Pantry clients and the community how to eat better and use the vegetables and herbs provided through our ministry.