We all dig in for our community
Vermont's annual Day in the Dirt is a day of service at some of our neighbors' gardens.
Gardener's Supply has a long history of supporting organizations that promote gardening, nutrition, and the environment. Not only do we donate 8% of annual profits in support of these areas, we also actively encourage our employees to support their communities in different ways. And we stand behind that encouragement with our Meg Smith Community Service Award — named for a former Public Relations Director and powerhouse volunteer — by matching employee-owners' charitable donations, and offering everyone on our team paid volunteer time.
Here are some of the ways we get involved:
Each May we assemble teams of employee-owners and dispatch them to various local sites to help community gardens clean up after the winter and get ready for another season of growing. This annual Day in the Dirt not only helps those sites, but helps us reconnect as gardeners with a larger community, facilitates learning, and brings a sense of satisfaction and joy.
We started Company Farm to grow food, primarily potatoes, for people in need. An annual project since 2013, we now also encourage and help other companies turn their unused lawn into productive food farms.
Every year thousands of pounds of edible produce remain in the fields after the harvest. We team up with our neighbor, the Intervale Center, to go out and glean these leftovers so they don't go to waste.
In 2009, as the country struggled to climb out of a recession, more families were turning to food banks than usual. As Thanksgiving approached, local hunger-relief organizations were getting low on supplies. So we organized a turkey drive, collecting donations from fellow employee-owners, bargaining with local grocery stores, and handling deliveries. By Thanksgiving, we'd collected 40 turkeys for the food bank in Burlington. Every Thanksgiving since, we strive to collect more turkeys than the previous year.
Every July we engage in Random Acts of Gardening—surprising some of the many local organizations, who work tirelessly to help make our communities stronger and safer, with planters of colorful, joy-giving flowers.
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