It’s getting close to springtime and won’t be long before your garden is thriving. This means that you probably have excess flowers or edibles that you just don’t know what to do with.
Don’t let your tomatoes go soft or your pineapples turn brown. One of the greatest aspects of being a gardener is the ability to share the beauty and bounty of the natural world with others. Even if you just have one extra pint of blueberries to bring to your neighbor, sharing will show how much you care. You can also spread the love and beauty of your vibrant flowers with potted arrangements or tables displays.
After you’ve spent so much time pulling those weeds, watering your plants, and picking your fruits and veggies, you should celebrate your success. It would be a shame to let all your hard work go to waste, so we’ve come up with some ways to spread the love to those around you.
1. Bring Your Harvest to the Office
Whether you work at a school or in an office, bring your extras in and let your coworkers take home what they want. Most people love receiving fresh fruits and vegetables. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, you can donate your surplus to a relative to bring in with them.
2. Visit Your Neighbors
Say “Hi!” to your neighbors, and make an excuse to visit, by bringing some produce along. One of the best ways to build comradery with your neighbors is to share. Don’t be surprised if your neighbors return the favor by sharing what they grow with you. You can even start a seed exchange.
3. Sell Your Fruits and Veggies at the Farmer’s Market
If you love fresh air, you will love selling at your Saturday market. It’s pretty easy to book a booth and start a following. All you need is a mini chalkboard for prices, grocery bags, a couple of folding chairs, and a table. You can even advertise that you ’ll be there on Facebook gardening groups or with your friends. Prepare to meet a lot of friendly faces and share your talent with your community.
4. Sell Potted Arrangements
If you don’t grow many edibles, but you have a green thumb when it comes to succulents or flowers, try to sell your potted arrangements. You can do this at the farmer’s market, but you can also be quite successful by selling online. Setup up an online store, register a botanical domain name, and take clear photos of your plants. You’ll surely get your first sales pretty quickly.
5. Donate Your Harvest to a Good Cause
Look into local soup kitchens or Meal on Wheels, and see if they could use some extra fruits, veggies, or herbs. Being able to share your veggies means sharing all the great benefits of homegrown, fresh produce. You can also offer to donate flowers for table displays if you have a knack for arrangements. Flowers can brighten others’ days and add a touch of elegance to a soup kitchen or charity bake sale or dinner.
6. Setup a Roadside Display
If you have some extra crates or a potting table, set them up by your mailbox with your fruits and veggies arranged neatly. Create a little sign that explains your produce is free or for donation, and put some bags out, so your neighbors can easily carry their haul away. This will let your neighbors pick what they want or need without the pressure of socializing.
7. Bake, Bake, and Bake Some More
Some of us are gifted with the ability to bake, and some of us want to get better at the art of baking. Regardless of your baking ability, there are plenty of people that will gladly eat your zucchini bread or fresh-picked blueberry pie. So, if you have the time and you want to try out some new recipes, why not get started with your extra fruits and veggies. You can also use a variety of veggies in pot pies or baked casseroles.
8. Can Some Fruits and Vegetables for Later
Nothing beats a zesty homemade bread-and-butter pickle, but have you tried canned cauliflower, asparagus, pickled peppers, or beets? Canning your harvest lets you extend your hard work into the heat of the summer in the South or wintertime up north when the soil is too frozen to grow anything. Mason jars with bright, tasty veggies also make excellent presents.
9. Freeze Your Extras
Many of our favorite fruits and veggies freeze well. You can even make prepared pies to pass out to family members. If you have an appetite for soups and marinara, freeze some diced tomatoes. Peaches also hold up remarkably well when frozen. You can make some great pesto sauces that will last for months in the freezer and still taste fresh.
10. Use Veggies to Create a Seed Collection
Saving your seeds can save you money. While it may seem like a lot of work, preserving your seeds can help you stockpile some of your favorite plants. You can potentially save quite a bit of money if you have a large garden that needs to be reseeded every spring. DIY seed packets also make fun and unique gifts for your neighbors and loved ones.
Before becoming overwhelmed in by how plentiful your garden has been, starting thinking of how you’re going to spread the love to your community and beyond. You can meet some fantastic people and other great gardeners along the way. Keep up the good work and keep your garden healthy.
This contributed post may contain affiliate links.