A Hippopotamus-sized Harvest!
This is turning out to be a very successful season in the the Community Kitchen Garden. It’s the second week of July, and this week we delivered 518 lbs. of fresh vegetables to Feedmore’s Community Kitchen. This brings our total for the season to just over 3,000 lbs. To put that into perspective, here are a few other things that tip the scale at 3,000 lbs.: a Toyota Prius — or even an adult hippopotamus.
So, 3,000 lbs. of vegetables sounds like a lot, but what does that translate to in regards to impact in our community? According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an average meal is about 1.2 lbs. If you assume that half of that weight is made up of vegetable sides, our donations have contributed to over 6,000 healthy meals. We donated 133 lbs. of cucumbers: 133, 234 lbs.s of squash and zucchini, 29 lbs of eggplant, 7 lbs, of Roma tomatoes, 13 lbs. of cherry tomatoes, 66 lbs. of slicing tomatoes, 24 lbs. of okra, and 12 lbs. of peppers.
I truly believe that we owe much of the success we’ve had to the amazing volunteers that come out every week to lend their time and energy to this cause. It’s an effort supported by many, with contributions from Youth Volunteers, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden volunteers, HandsOn Greater Richmond volunteers, and a wide variety of corporate volunteers. In just the last two weeks, we had helping hands from the Virginia Auditor of Public Accounts, BB&T Bank, Kings Dominion, and the Federal Reserve Bank Business Client Services Department.
Our volunteers also come from many different backgrounds. Some are young, and others young-at-heart. Many of them were born and raised in Virginia, like me, and some are from other parts of the world. So far this season we’ve had volunteers from Jamaica, Russia, the Philippines, and Ecuador. Some volunteers bring their green thumbs and share their years of knowledge and experience, but others have little to no experience and come to learn some new skills.
It is such a pleasure to meet and work with so many wonderful people, and I extend my deepest gratitude to them all. Together we can do great things.