National Community Gardening Week

By Charlie Nardozzi

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has named August 23-29, 2009, National Community Gardening Week. As an ongoing commitment to encourage community gardening, the USDA is installing 'People's Gardens' at USDA facilities around the world. These community gardens are places people can grow their own food and donate extra to local food shelves. This summer the People's Garden at the USDA headquarters on the National Mall in Washington, DC, has donated more than 170 pounds of produce to The DC Central Kitchen. The DC Central Kitchen offers job training in culinary and food service skills to DC's homeless.

Across the country there are more than 1 million community gardens that produce on average about $500 worth of produce per garden each year. These gardens not only provide, fresh, healthy, locally raised food to the participants, they also become a hub of community-building activities. They beautify neighborhoods, become meeting places for residents, and help foster a sense of pride and belonging in the community.

For more information on National Community Gardening Week, go to: USDA

The National Gardening Association Web sites include information on the benefits of community gardening as well as helpful advice for gardeners. For more information, go to: and

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