Nov 27th, 2014

Showing Thanks to our Volunteers  & Community Partners

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden 

volunteers taking a break

Volunteers taking a break at the end of the season’s last harvest earlier this week.

Community Kitchen Garden Horticulturist Laura Schumm just sent the end-of-the-year update on our Community Kitchen Garden benefiting FeedMore. The timing is perfect, because it reminds me of all the wonderful things I am thankful for today on this day of Thanksgiving.

Last week six volunteers from the community signed up to work in the the Garden via HandsonRVA.org.  With their help, we harvested the last of the vegetables for this season, a total of 179 lbs. — including 63 lbs. of cabbage, 41 lbs. of broccoli, and 75 lbs of cauliflower.  We are hoping these make some nice additions to Thanksgiving meals of those in need.  This fresh, locally grown produce will contribute to 716 meals, and  brings our total annual harvest this year to 6,379 lbs.  of fresh vegetables donated.

harvesting cabbage

Harvesting cabbage

The number one thing I’m thankful for today is our volunteers. We would not be a Garden today if it weren’t for  volunteers like Mary Mitchell & Betsy Saunders, early supporters of the Garden — before it even existed. And still today  the Garden could not exist without volunteers. Right now we have over 500 volunteers who help support the Garden with their love and care. Our army of volunteers do a huge range of things for us — everything from weeding and working in horticulture, to greeting guests, to leading tours of the Garden as Garden Guides,  to helping run our Splendor Under Glass fundraising gala,  to the “Ginter Geezers”  crafting items we need and take on woodworking projects. You’ll find volunteers inside the Butterflies LIVE! exhibit, hanging lights for Dominion GardenFest of Lights, and participating in weekly gardening crews.  We have Children’s Garden volunteers who support Green Adventures summer camp, and  volunteer photographers. We even have a crew of Youth Volunteers.

loading veggies in the cart

HandsonRVA volunteers loading cauliflower into a buggy to be transported to the food bank. Did you know you can eat cauliflower & broccoli greens? They are wonderful and super nutritious too.

And  I didn’t even yet mention the scores of volunteers who work in the Community Kitchen Garden through our partnering organizations. Organizations like HandsonRVA, Henrico County Public Schools, Faison School for Autism, Virginia Commonwealth University Service-Learning, Blue Sky Fund, there are so many more it’s hard to list them all!   We are incredibly grateful for our corporate volunteer partners too. Staff from CarMax Foundation, Bank of America Foundation, Capital One, Dominion, and MeadWestvaco Foundation have supported the Garden or the Community Kitchen Garden with their volunteer efforts this year.

We are grateful for you and how you help us serve the Richmond community. Thank you!

volunteers

Hardworking volunteers at the end of the day.

veggies in crates

The day’s haul — ready for the food bank.

 

Jonah Holland is PR & Marketing Coordinator at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, specializing in social media. She's been known to go for a walk, and come back completely inspired to write a blog post on her newest found adventure.

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