BY DAVID FISHER
MARTIN (May 10) — On Sunday, May 10, the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network (LFN) distributed 2,250 seed packets and 50 plants to 375 people in 120 households. The free seed give-a-way took place at Martin Farmers Market in downtown Martin.
According to Jessica Quinn, who is an owner of Hundred Acre Homestead and Quinn Cattle Company, states the NWTN Local Food Network was made possible because of their many generous partners.
Those donating seed and plants to help make the event a success included: the University of Tennessee at Martin, Rural King Supply, Co-op in Martin, and Martin area Farmers Market.
Volunteers participating in the seed and plant distribution were: Caroline Ideus, Bethany Wolters, Darlene Drummond, Jessica Quinn, Doris McKinney, and all of the NWTN Essential Gardeners.
Mrs. Quinn says Northwest Tennessee LFN is a local nonprofit organization based out of Martin, which seeks to convince residents to try vegetable gardening as an easy way to strengthen communities. It does so by encouraging area citizens to eat more of what’s grown locally and learning to grow some of these foods ourselves.
“The LFN envisions a sustainable regional food system that utilizes locally grown and produced foods to promote healthy individuals, equitable communities and thriving local economies,” Quinn said.
“We are encouraging those who are planting a garden this year to join our Facebook group page NWTN Essential Gardens and share extra produce with area food pantries through our ‘Plant-A-Row for the Hungry’ program. Local citizens may also download the Hunger Relief Guide listing area food pantries and soup kitchens.” Quinn advises those interested in learning more to go to the following website: https://nwtnlfn.org/volunteer/plant-a-row-for-the-hungry/
Plant A Row for the Hungry is a people-helping-people program that encourages gardeners to grow a little extra and donate the produce to local soup kitchens and food pantries serving the homeless and hungry in local communities.
Quinn says sharing can happen on many levels. Home gardeners, schools, church groups, youth and community organizations, and even area businesses can all help make a difference for their neighbors who experience hunger or the threat of hunger.
Those who need vegetable seeds should go to firstname.lastname@example.org
Excess produce may be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank, Mid South Food Bank or one of their Partner Agencies in the area.
How To Donate Produce From Your Garden. Follow these steps when selecting, handling, storing, and transporting the produce you plan to donate:
Call the Food Bank/Pantry at least one day ahead of time to schedule a delivery date. (Download the NWTN Food Relief Agency Guide 2020)
Keep each produce type in a separate, clean, food-grade container or bag.
Clean as much dirt as possible off the produce.
Choose produce that has no signs of mold, spoilage, bruising, or insects.
For more information, or to donate food to the hungry, contact:
Local Food Network
206 Oxford Street
Martin, TN 38237
BY DAVID FISHER