What do ten bucks, a garden, Harrison Ford, and Elon Musk’s brother have in common? They’re all being used to combat food insecurity, malnutrition, and to construct the world’s single biggest gardener community.
Launched on the equinox, the Million Gardens Movement (MGM) is a charitable and educational initiative which hopes to put a garden in each household—whether that’s on a fire escape, in a window box, or as part of a community garden initiative—and fresh fruit and veg on every plate.
The brain child of Frank Giustra and Kimbal Musk, the former the owner and publisher of Modern Farmer magazine, the latter the Executive Director of the non-profit Big Green, MGM places Little Green Garden units in homes and classrooms for just a $10 donation.
The Little Green Gardens is at their core ready-to-use fruit and veg garden bedsand over 5,000 of them have already been distributed.
Kimbal Musk explains that each garden bed comes “ using a customized growing plan and online lessons and activities to encourage the growth of culturally relevant at-home veggie gardens. ”
The MGM platform for a whole is simple. If you’re a gardener, sign up to join the community . Donate $10 to give a backyard to a household that could ’t manage it, or that resides in a food desert, read and contribute to the blog, then inform other anglers about it.
Weve been so humbled by the overwhelmingly positive response and the passion surrounding our mission, says Frank Giustra. “When Warwick Saint was photographing gardening activists for our launch, activists such as Salma Hayek and Jonathan Scott were asking us “What more could I do to the Movement? What else can I do to help get more people involved? That’s a real sign of how dedicated people are to making a difference. ”
Ten years ago I co-founded Big Green to focus on under-resourced communities to improve access to new food and enhance food literacy, says Musk. “ Nowadays it’s a federal nonprofit working with schools in several significant cities with almost 640 outdoor Learning Garden classrooms. ”
“Frank Giustra achieved with the notion of… Big Green and Modern Farmer [ starting ] that the Million Gardens Movement to make it easy for anyone to give a family a backyard. Planting a seed is an act of hope for a brighter tomorrow. We expect millions will join us to grow their own garden and give a garden to a family. ”
Seed of trust
The seed of hope planted by Giustra and Kimbal certainly sprouted. With thousands of gardeners already joining up with the movement, actors are tagging along like Harrison Ford, Zooey Deschanel, Nicole Scherzinger, and Maye Musk, mother of Kimbaland a certain billionaire called Elon, who happen to be Kimbals brother.
The hashtag #milliongardensmovement has over 300 articles on Instagram. 7,300 gardens in total have been started, including some done out-of-pocket, while 632 have gone into schools to teach kids about gardening and grow a new generation of gardening-savvy adults.
The most successful component of the Million Gardens Movement has been the continual development of an online gardening community,” states Giustra in an interview. “Our Movement, exactly like gardening, is all about developing our best aspects slowly and steadily as we grow in numbers towards a million gardeners. Seeing people donate is fantastic because they are helping others garden, and those who donate might also take up gardening. ”
Weve managed to deliver garden kits to Denver, Detroit, Memphis, and Indianapolis so far, he adds. “We’re working to deliver 5,000 kits in Denver alone in April for Earth Month, and we’re working on delivery programs for cities after that fall. ”
Turning the tide
The truth is that food insecurity was an issue in America long before the pandemic started. 1 study from 2017 found that 5.6 % of Americans don’t have sufficient access to food. And just in Atlanta, Georgia, as GNN reported, 125,000 people live outside of a suitable distance from the supermarket.
The advantages of a home garden can significantly reduce these impacts—even something the size of the Little Green Gardens given out by MGM can help.
For example, based on the Journal of Extension, the average home vegetable garden produces $677 worth of fruits and vegetables every year.
Our hope is to quickly expand to Canada this past year with sights on Vancouver and Toronto, says Musk. “We hope to expand to Mexico and beyond to make this a global movement to encourage millions of people to grow their own food.
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