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SFC Hosts Another Successful Drive-Thru Spread the Harvest Event!

How we eat and feed our families has changed during the pandemic. As economic conditions deteriorated and supply chains were disrupted, our community has faced sometimes-empty store shelves, shuttered restaurants and school cafeterias, and more obstacles to food access than ever before.

SFC’s Spread the Harvest (STH) program, which makes food gardening more affordable by offering enrollees free gardening resources (e.g., seeds, plants, compost, fertilizer), has set new records during the pandemic, as participants turned to gardening to supplement their diets with healthy, fresh produce. Our most recent Resource Giveaway Day was another fantastic success.

Fall Planting Time

In mid-September, all hands were on deck for our STH Resource Giveaway Day, the third one we’ve hosted during the pandemic. We employed a drive-thru format to keep it safe for staff, volunteers, and enrollees. This program helps thousands of gardeners each year start or maintain gardens so that they may keep a healthy diet by growing their own fresh produce. SFC organizes two large Resource Giveaway Days each year while seeds, fertilizer, and library books on cooking and gardening remain available year-round for participants to pick up at our office.

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"Our garden has become even more important to us as the pandemic curtails normal life. Thanks to everyone at SFC for everything you do to help Central Texas gardeners keep on gardening!”


SFC’s March 2021 event reached a new record by serving 433 gardens, and this time we weren’t far behind our previous record. At the fall event, we served 414 total gardens: 280 low-income home gardens, 97 school gardens, and 37 group gardens.

Resources went to gardeners all over the Central Texas area, not just within Austin city limits. Fifty-five of the gardens served were from outside Travis County, throughout the five-county region. This event reached participants who speak Spanish, Arabic, Burmese, and Nepali, thanks to interpreters.

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“I just completed my vegetable gardening class and now I have my first spring garden planted thanks to the plants and seeds from SFC. Thank you!”


Loads of Supplies from Local Businesses

The resources distributed at the event were primarily sourced from local companies. Gabriel Valley Farms delivered 3,900 vegetable, herb, and fruit transplants. Whittlesey Landscape Supplies provided 2,000 bags of compost. Seeds came from Sustainable Seed Company, Willhite Seed, and True Leaf Market. Finally, 550 cups of fertilizer from Jobe’s Organics will help gardens grow more productively. Garden Seventeen also generously donated nursery trays so we could pre-pack plants and quickly load into participants’ vehicles. Thank you to all these local businesses for your partnership!

Our September event marked the first time that we distributed all materials before the end of the day and were not left with any extra supplies.

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"Thank you for your generosity and gift[s] throughout the last few years. With your help we were able to expand our school garden and educate many families on site. We are so grateful for you.”


Feeling inspired to grow your own garden?

Fall is a great time to garden in Central Texas, as temperatures cool down and less frequent watering is needed. Nutritious and easy-to-grow crops like leafy greens and radishes thrive during this time of year. Check out gardening tips from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Austin Organic Gardeners, and The Natural Gardener to get started.

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