Grow a Row for Tama County

Tama County Master Gardeners and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Tama County encourage farmers and gardeners to grow a little extra food again this year. “Grow A Row for Tama County–Backyard Gardeners Fighting Hunger” is a campaign to encourage residents to grow and share extra food in 2022. The campaign is a continuation of a successful effort begun in 2021 to address food challenges created by COVID-19 and rising food prices, as more people were finding themselves needing a little extra help keeping nutritious food on the table. This initiative aims to improve access to fresh vegetables for those using county food pantries. Last year over 1680 pounds of fresh produce was collected through this program and donated to local food pantries.

“The time to act is now. As farmers and gardeners are beginning to plant gardens, now is a perfect time to make plans to plant more to share,” comments Cheryl Bruene, executive director and Master Gardener coordinator, ISU Extension and Outreach, Tama County. “We are looking to increase donations this year and exceed 2000 pounds with your help”.

“Whether you’re an experienced farmer, or looking to try gardening for the first time, we hope you’ll sign up for our newsletter and join us in growing–and sharing–a little more food this year,” says Tama County Master Gardener Sara Sorensen.

ISU Extension and Outreach in Tama County is spearheading this project with the help of a SNAP-Ed program Growing Together Mini-Grant. The county Master Gardener group will help coordinate collection of donations and distribution of produce. All produce donated to this project should be brought to the Extension office on Mondays before noon to be weighed and packaged for distribution.

Anyone interested in growing produce for “Grow A Row for Tama County” is invited to call the county extension office or to stop in the office during office hours. Free seeds and tomato plants to be used in growing produce for “Grow A Row for Tama County” will be given out to volunteer growers while supply lasts. To learn more about “Grow A Row for Tama County,” call Cheryl at ISU Extension and Outreach in Toledo at 641-484-2703. For more information on the Master Gardener program, visit www.extension.iastate.edu/mastergardener.