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BETHANY O'REAR: Give More, Give More (column)

Bethany O'Rear

Bethany O'Rear is an extension agent in St. Clair County.

Vegetable gardening can be rewarding to more people than just gardeners and their families. 

Gardeners often harvest more than their families can use, and Extension’s Grow More, Give More provides a way to share that bounty.

Grow More, Give More encourages gardeners to grow extra and give back to their communities. The project expands community-based gardening as a way to increase donations of healthy vegetables across Alabama.

How it works

Every single donation of produce is valuable, whether it’s across the street or across the state. Whatever you choose, thank you for being a part of this “Grow More, Give More” effort.

How to donate extra fruits and vegetables

  • Consider dropping off extra vegetables to neighbors shut in by age or illness, or affected by job loss and would appreciate fresh produce;

  • Schools, community centers and places of worship are addressing food insecurity in ways you may not realize. Reach out and see if there is a need you can help fill; and

  • Statewide charities such as Society of St. Andrew, a crop gleaning charity, and regional food banks across Alabama will coordinate donations, particularly in larger quantities.

The power of grassroots efforts like Grow More, Give More is often underestimated. Alabama Extension wants to capture the strength and generosity of Alabama gardeners participating in Grow More, Give More.

Participants can document the number of pounds they donate by completing a very brief online survey.  Submit photos of donations to the Alabama Smart Yards Facebook page and also use the hashtag #growmoregivemore.

For more information about this program or for other horticulture-related questions, please contact Bethany O’Rear, Regional Extension agent, via email at or call 205-612-9524. Be sure to “like” our Facebook page, St. Clair County, Alabama Extension Office, to learn more about what all is going on at your local Extension Office.