There’s one surefire way to identify a gardener in the office. They are the people who bring mass amounts of any given crop to share with their colleagues. Typically the item they share is a giant box of lemons, or a handful of gigantic zucchini, or bunches of herbs.
I know I’m grateful to my colleague who recently brought me an array lettuce and herbs. Of course, I traded her a nice sourdough starter I had made. That’s a fair trade, right?
Nonetheless, there’s something incredibly powerful about sharing with others and gardening is one of the best ways to do that. In this post I thought it fitting to highlight a few ways to share those excess crops that you may not be able to eat or preserve.
Leave them out on the curb
It seems a little sketchy in this day and age to trust any produce left outside with a “free” sign on it. There’s a house down the street from me that has a permanent table in their front yard in the summer. Last summer I got a variety of squash and cucumbers. Admittedly I looked a little silly in my running gear with an acorn squash in tow.
Take it to work
As previously mentioned, what a great way to build connections with your colleagues. One of my favorite things about taking extra veggies to work is that it typically becomes an opportunity to tell the story how I grew them. In the case of my colleague that brought me some crops, she showed me pictures of her garden and shared some of her experience growing vegetables in this area. Also, no one at work has ever objected to zucchini that has been transformed into zucchini bread!
Use it as housewarming gifts
One thing I’m really good at growing is herbs, and they are prolific. When someone invites us over for dinner, it’s great not to go empty-handed. Instead, show up with a variety of herbs. It’s amazing how many uses you can find for them in cooking when they are abundantly available.
Join a crop swap
Are you really good at growing tomatoes but maybe not so good at squash? Join a crop swap where you can show up with your excess crops and exchange for other produce. Here’s a great article from Shareable on the ins and outs of crop swaps.
Donate to a local food bank
According to Ample Harvest, there are two problems that exist. The first is that gardeners are growing more food than they can consume and are ultimately wasting it. The second is that food banks are in short supply of fresh food. This website has a large network of food banks where gardeners can donate their extra crops that will go to people who truly need it. What a great way to really make a difference with your garden.
It’s clear that our gardens can be fabulous tools to connect with others and even make a difference in the process. In cases where you cannot consume your crop without it spoiling, seek out one of my suggestions to make sure that everything you grow goes to good use.
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