We have collectively just experienced a year like no other. But, amid the canceled vacations, postponed weddings, and virtual-everything-else, there have been some silver linings that have inspired many of us. One such silver lining is the staggering increase in at-home gardening. Gardening is relaxing, educational, and nourishing. Gardening helps us slow down and step back from the chaos and stress to which we’ve become increasingly accustomed. It was this sudden explosion of gardening that inspired the creation of the Million Gardens Movement (MGM).
The organizations behind the MGMare non-profit Big Green and the publication Modern Farmer. Big Green, founded in 2011, helps create permanent learning gardens at low-income schools around the United States. Modern Farmer magazine is a resource for both food producers and consumers. The partnership is a match made in heaven.
When the pandemic hit in early 2020, families who had grown accustomed to the gardens were asking to continue having access. That’s when Kimbal Musk, Big Green co-founder and brother of Elon Musk, collaborated with Frank Giustra, owner of Modern Farmer magazine, to create MGM. Since many families no longer had access to these school-based gardens, Musk and Giustra wanted to bring the gardens to the people.
MGM provides people with a gardening kit, step-by-step instructions, and family-friendly activities to build food literacy. The website then serves as an ongoing resource to help develop and teach the skills needed to become a successful gardener. The movement not only serves as an educational resource, but also, as a community that helps to build confidence and a love of gardening, no matter if you are using a window sill or a spacious garden plot.
Besides the goal of inspiring the creation of a million new gardens, the mission of MGM is “to inspire a happier, healthier world by educating people about a better diet, through funding and educating millions of new gardeners to grow their own food.” Nothing connects us with nature more than eating food that we grew ourselves.
How can you get involved? By visiting www.milliongardensmovement.org, you are able to join the movement by growing your own garden, you can learn basic gardening tips to make your garden a success, and you can also donate money to buy garden kits for people for whom a garden would make a world of difference. The kits are $10 each. By joining the movement, you can help sow the seeds of love by inspiring your family and friends to start their own gardens. The website helps to nourish your love of gardening and create a community of people working towards a common goal.
Big Green is invested in the positive impact gardening has on kids for the rest of their lives. The old saying goes, “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for life.” This is exactly what MGM hopes to achieve. By empowering people across the United States to grow food, you help them to fight food insecurity and create a connection with the foods they eat.