September 30 2014-
The regular growing season is quickly coming to a close, but I know there are many clever growers who will successfully extend their season and even over-winter their plants to be placed in the garden again, come Spring. For now, keeping proper growing conditions while also harvesting so that as many vegetables and fruits can mature before frost is the order of the day. By now, many have consumed and/or preserved as much as their shelves and freezers will hold and the question of “What do I do with all the extra tomatoes, zucchini, and squash?” Welcome to Sunshine Harvest Sharing! This is a place that can help you locate a local food pantry and/or soup kitchen where your extra produce will be happily accepted and shared with others.
Sunshine Harvest Sharing seeks to link backyard growers to local food pantries and soup kitchens so that surplus produce can be donated. If you live in East Central Illinois, Southern Illinois or Southeastern Utah/Southwestern Colorado, you’ll find directories providing the days/times each food pantry or soup kitchen accepts donations of produce from backyard gardeners. This means you can get your goods to a donation site as quickly as possible so the produce can be shared while still fresh. If you know of a food pantry or soup kitchen in your area that is not listed here, please add a comment at the bottom of the page, providing the name of the agency and an email address of a contact person and I will do the rest!
A Directory of Community Gardens for each of the three areas (East Central Illinois, Southern Illinois or Southeastern Utah/Southwestern Colorado) is being developed for people who want to grow their own food but don’t have yard space; people who want to volunteer their time to help grow food for others, and so individual community gardens can come together to share information, resources and, hopefully, apply and receive grants and other financial donations as a cooperative unit. Again, if you are aware of any community gardens in the 3 areas represented, please provide me with contact information and I will get them added.
For those new to the site, please read on to learn how the project works so you will be ready to go when you are ready to donate your surplus items. Please share this site with others who garden and might have extra produce to share. If you have suggestions, please send me a note with your thoughts.
Thanks for stopping by and please come back often. Be sure to let us know when and what you shared from YOUR garden to make someone else’s day using the Sunshine Harvest Sharing Project!
Sincerely, Lisa Braddock
ABOUT — Sunshine Harvest Sharing Project
Original Welcome Letter
Being a gardener, I’ve had extra produce that I couldn’t use. I wanted to share it with those in need, but didn’t know the when’s, where’s and how’s of each location’s rules and regulations. So the produce went into the compost bin. This year, before harvest is in full swing, I am surveying food pantries and soup kitchens to glean instructions for donating home-grown produce. The “fruits” of my labor are contained on these pages to be shared with you and other home gardeners for an easier way to donate extra garden produce to those in need.
To learn more about agencies in your neighborhood who work to provide healthy food to those in need, please check out the Sunshine Harvest Sharing Directory for Champaign-Urbana IL Area or Harrisburg IL and Southern Illinois or for Moab Utah. Each listing will highlight when each agency accepts donations of produce. Agencies are also listed by the day(s) of the week that they accept donations: Champaign-Urbana or Harrisburg Area or Moab Utah. The daily schedule should make it very easy to find a nearby location where you can share your extra tomatoes, cucumbers, and yes—even zucchinis, whether you have a basket full or a handful. Drop off whatever amount of fresh produce–ripe but not overripe–and know that those who will receive the bounty from your garden will appreciate your effort.
For tips and guidelines for packaging your produce, please check out the Produce Donation Tips page. When you donate produce, please mention the Sunshine Harvest Sharing Directory so we can learn that this project works AND come back to this site and let us know (under the comment section) what and where you donated! Check back often, as more agencies will be added. Let me know if you have any suggestions/comments so I can make the site even better!
Take a break from the summer heat and learn how you can team up with the places in your town that are making a difference, one meal at a time.
Sunshine Harvest Sharing Project and Smiling Dog Acres Organic Farm
Copyright © 2014 Lisa R. Braddock. All Rights Reserved.