What do ten dollars, a garden, Harrison Ford, and Elon Musk’s brother have in common? All are used to combat food insecurity, malnutrition and to build the largest community of gardeners in the world.
Thrown at the equinox, the Millions of Gardens Movement (MGM) is a charitable and educational initiative that hopes to put a garden in every home, whether on a fire escape, in a planter or as part of a community garden initiative, and fresh fruits and vegetables on every plate.
The brainchild of Frank Giustra and Kimbal Musk, the former owner and publisher of Modern farmer Magazine, this latest CEO of the Big Green nonprofit, MGM, places Little Green Garden units in homes and classrooms for just a $ 10 donation.
The Small Green Gardens are, at their core, ready-to-use fruit and vegetable beds, and more than 5,000 of them have already been distributed.
Kimbal Musk explains that each garden bed comes “with a personalized growing plan and online lessons and activities to support the cultivation of culturally relevant home vegetable gardens.”
The MGM platform as a whole is simple. If you are a gardener sign up to join the community. Donate $ 10 to give a garden to a family who can’t afford it, or who lives in a food desert, read and contribute to the blogand then tell other gardeners.
“We are humbled by the overwhelmingly positive response and passion that surrounds our mission,” says Frank Giustra. “When Warwick Saint was photographing gardening activists for our launch, activists like Salma Hayek and Jonathan Scott were asking us’ What else can I do for the Movement? What else can I do to help involve more people? That’s a real sign of how dedicated people are to making a difference. “
“Ten years ago, I co-founded Big Green to target low-income communities to increase access to fresh food and improve food literacy,” says Musk. “Today is a national non-profit organization that works with schools in several major cities with nearly 640 outdoor classrooms in the Learning Garden.”
“Frank Giustra came up with the idea of … Big Green and Modern Farmer [starting] the Million Garden Movement so anyone can give a family a garden. Planting a seed is an act of hope for a brighter tomorrow. We hope that millions of people will join us to cultivate their own garden and give a garden to a family ”.
Seed of hope
The seed of hope planted by Giustra and Kimbal certainly sprouted. With thousands of gardeners already joining the movement, celebrities like Harrison Ford, Zooey Deschanel, Nicole Scherzinger and Maye Musk, Kimbal’s mother, and a certain billionaire named Elon, who happens to be Kimbal’s brother, are joining the movement.
The #milliongardensmovement hashtag has over 300 posts on Instagram. A total of 7,300 gardens have been started, including some out-of-pocket facts, while 632 have gone to schools to teach children about gardening and develop a new generation of gardening savvy adults.
“The most successful aspect of the Million Gardens Movement has been the continued growth of an online gardening community,” Giustra says in an interview. “Our Movement, like gardening, is about developing our best aspects slowly and steadily as we grow in numbers to a million gardeners. Seeing people donate is wonderful because they are helping others to garden, and those who donate can garden as well. “
“We have been able to deliver garden kits to Denver, Detroit, Memphis and Indianapolis so far,” he adds. “We are working to deliver 5,000 kits in Denver alone in April for Earth Month, and we are working on delivery plans for cities after that drop.”
Turning the tide
The reality is that food insecurity was a problem in the United States long before the pandemic began. A 2017 study found that 5.6% of Americans do not have adequate access to fresh food. And only in Atlanta, Georgia, like GNN reported, 125,000 people live outside a convenient distance from the supermarket.
The benefits of a home garden can significantly reduce these impacts, even something the size of the Small Green Gardens provided by MGM can help.
For example, according to the Extension journal, the average home garden produces $ 677 worth of fruits and vegetables each year.
“Our hope is to rapidly expand into Canada this year with an eye 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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