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Fresh produce a growing concern
Plant a Row program helps local food banks
Some of the vegetables that can be grown in a container garden are shown here. These were raised and harvested by local gardener Daryl Pulis, who is promoting the Plant a Row Program in Forsyth County to battle hunger. - photo by Submitted
* Daryl Pulis is teaching a general class on growing vegetables at 10:30 a.m. Thursday and a class on container gardening at 10:30 a.m. March 26. Both sessions are at the Cumming Recreation Department. Classes are $15. Contact: (770) 781-2030.
* To drop off food, contact The Place of Forsyth, (770) 887-1098.
Daryl Pulis says she has always encouraged fellow gardeners to plant an extra row of fruits or vegetables for food banks.

The Forsyth County resident recently took the idea public and is encouraging residents with little or no gardening experience to give it a try.

“Right now, this program is more important than ever,” said Pulis, who just kicked off the local Plant a Row for the Hungry program. “There is just not enough food to go around at food banks anymore.”

Pulis said food pantries often receive large amounts of canned goods and packaged products “which are wonderful, but there is a lack of nourishment in some of them as far as fresh vegetables and fruits.”

When ripe from the garden, Pulis said vegetables and fruits have “higher levels of Vitamin C, for example, which drops off very rapidly after harvest, so people get an opportuinty to get real fresh food from the garden as well as supplementing the food banks,” she said.

Local residents looking to help the hungry by growing their own produce can drop off whatever their harvest yields at The Place of Forsyth from 8 to 11:45 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Donated food will be given to those in need.

Pulis said first-time gardeners should have no trouble growing certain types of plants. Those that are best for beginners include green beans and tomatoes.

“They pretty well grow and do their thing,” Pulis said, adding that folks with a busy schedule or without the necessary gardening area on their property can try growing crops in a container.

Pulis plans to teach a class on container gardening at 10:30 a.m. March 26 in the Cumming Recreation Department.

She will also teach a general class on growing vegetables at 10:30 a.m. Thursday. Those interested can call (770) 781-2030 for registration information. Classes are $15.

Pulis said the advantages of gardening are numerous.

“It’s a healthy activity, it’s good for your family and you know where your food has been,” she said.

The Plant a Row Program is sponsored by the Garden Writer’s Association, a national group with local chapters.

E-mail Frank Reddy at