What does gardening have to do with hunger?

Seed to Supper graduates share their insights.

Seed to Supper is a comprehensive, 6-week beginning gardening course taught by NC State Master Gardeners. The course gives novice, adult gardeners the tools they need to successfully grow a portion of their own food on a limited budget.

Q: What did you know about gardening before you enrolled in Seed to Supper?

Tamisha: I didn’t really know anything. It has been amazing for me to be walked through this process, and to receive the resources to do it without excuses. To put that seed in the ground and then bring it all the way to supper.

Barbara: My parents always gardened, so I knew how to pick, but not how to grow. I am currently gardening at Camden Street, and that has taken off really well. I was given plants and seeds and encouragement to get started.

Q: What did you learn that you didn’t expect?

Tamisha: The worms! That they exist in your garden and are supposed to be there. And the fact that gardening de-stresses you. I turn to the garden as a place to stop, to see nature, to enjoy nature. For me, it is getting back to the basics.

Barbara: I was surprised about the seasonality of plants … what you can plant when, and how long it takes to go from seed to harvest.

Q: A lot of people wonder what gardening has to do with health, hunger, and community. What would you say to them?

Barbara: Vegetables that we grow are cheaper, and it’s fresher! This is FRESH. Healthy food helps keep us healthy. We’ve learned the importance of vitamins, and nutrition. For me, I need to be cautious because I have diabetes in my family. So I want to know about good foods and healthy choices.

Tamisha: I took this class because I wanted to make healthier choices. I wanted to eat organic and make a lifestyle change as a mother, for my children. Agricultural waste can make people and communities sick. When we go back to growing our own food, we take back control over whether it is organic, or what pesticides are used. We take control over what we are eating without having to rely on the big grocery store chains. We can depend on our own selves.

To read more about IFFS agricultural programs:  http://foodshuttle.org/we-teach/agriculture-training-programs/urban-gardens/