Modern Farmer and Big Green Launch Million Gardens Movement to Mobilize Millions to Grow Food at Home
Photo by Per Lööv on Unsplash
Big Green and Modern Farmer have launched the Million Gardens Movement, a charitable food initiative, that will officially kick off on Plant a Seed Day, March 20. Set against a backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Million Gardens Movement aspires to give everyone the opportunity to grow their own food, whether it is on a windowsill or in a backyard, to create a healthier, happier, more sustainable world.
According to a research study at Northwestern University, last year one in four families in the U.S. faced issues of food insecurity, not knowing where their next healthy meal was coming from. Food philanthropist and publisher of Modern Farmer, Frank Giustra, has joined forces with food entrepreneur and co-founder of Big Green, Kimbal Musk, to launch the movement to help fight hunger, support climate action and increase resilience. They have committed their teams, networks and personal resources to support the Million Gardens Movement so that every family in North America will have the opportunity to grow their own food. The pair is united in the belief that the small act of planting food has the power to benefit people, communities and the world.
The website MillionGardensMovement.org contains a suite of online lessons and activities for anyone wanting to join the movement and grow more veggies at home. It's for all levels of gardeners, featuring a vast library of how-to garden advice and resources from Modern Farmer alongside nutrition and health programming from Big Green.
Musk and Giustra hope millions of people will join the movement to grow more at home and give millions of "little green gardens" to people that are cut off from the amazing health benefits of gardening; often due to lack of space, funds or know-how. Little Green Gardens are compact container gardens suitable for small growing spaces. They come with a customized growing plan and leverage the MillionGardensMovement.org suite of online lessons and activities to support the growing of culturally relevant at-home veggie gardens.
Donations to the Million Gardens Movement will support the first distribution of 5,000 Little Green Gardens by Big Green to underserved families in cities across the United States. In Chicago, Conscious Alliance and the Greater Chicago Food Depository are joining the Million Gardens Movement by distributing Little Green Gardens and more than 20,000 pounds of natural and organic food to Chicago Public School students and families across the city. By combining much-needed healthy food with an educational indoor growing experience and virtual programs, families will become part of the Million Gardens Movement to grow their own food to increase food sovereignty. Additional "garden and grocery" distributions will occur at schools and community hubs in Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis and Memphis. The goal is to give 1 million families home gardens this year so that they may start to grow their own food.
"We are building a community of people who love gardening—whether you tend an acre or have a lone pot on your fire escape, the Million Gardens Movement is creating a culture shift around gardening and the value of growing your own food," says Giustra. "We're breaking down barriers by showing how simple it is to grow fruits, herbs and vegetables."
"Big Green and Modern Farmer started the Million Gardens Movement to make it simple for anyone to give a family a garden," says Musk. "Planting a seed is an act of hope for a brighter tomorrow. Join us by giving a garden to a family today."
According to the Journal of Extension, the average home vegetable garden produces $677 worth of fruits and vegetables every year. Likewise, according to Johns Hopkins University, the United States could save more than 30,000 lives and $5 billion in medical spending each year if Americans ate just one more serving of fruits and vegetables a day.
To further the reach and strengthen the movement, Giustra and Musk have recruited some of the world's most recognized faces to join the Million Gardens Movement to inspire millions of people to grow their own food and to give gardens to those that would not otherwise have the opportunity. Grammy Award-winning musician and actress Eve has voiced the launch campaign video. She is joined by actor and environmentalist Harrison Ford, TV and film actress Zooey Deschanel, Academy Award-winning actress Salma Hayek, TV personality and Property Brother star Jonathan Scott, singer and TV host Nicole Scherzinger, musician Aloe Blacc, supermodel and dietician Maye Musk and internet sensations Josh Richards and Griffin Johnson. Collectively, these influencers and many others are lending their name to the Million Gardens Movement to have an incredible impact on the health and happiness of current and future generations by inspiring people everywhere to garden more at home, school and in their community.
To give a garden to a family in need or learn how to grow your own garden, visit MillionGardensMovement.org.