September is an obvious time for transition in the garden. It’s both sweet and spicy as the last tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, and berries come off the vine, the peppers begin to turn colors and the spicy greens sown for fall cover begin to emerge. Some might say that September is the ‘end of the harvest season’ as the first weekend of September marks the ‘unofficial end of summer.’ However, for some gardeners that haven’t yet grown weary, September is just another month in the growing season that goes year round. Another month of prepping beds, gathering harvests, and sowing seeds.

For our Grow Wayne Program. September has provided us a time for pause. A time to stop and reflect all that we’ve accomplished in the last 10 months, preparing for our and dreaming about the goals we set for our program.

Our primary goal as a first year site was to support organic growing in 20 gardens. We were astounded when 50 families and community gardens signed up!

Although the growing season isn’t over, we’ve been compiling harvest logs from our garden sites and growers. As of September 5th, we’ve seen our program turn out over 20,000 pounds of food in just four months!

Another goal we had this year was to operate a Farmer’s Market. When COVID forced us to think outside the box, we instead, launched a FarmBox program, sourcing farm products from 17 producers in our region, packing them weekly in seasonal farm boxes, and provided socially distanced pick up and delivery services.

As of September 5th, our FarmBox program has delivered over 500 boxes of farm goods to families and seniors across our region. FarmBox has also generated over $20,000 in revenue that’s gone directly back to our growers and stayed in our region to support other local businesses as well.

As we reflect on our impact as a first year site, we’re pleased beyond measure with how our season has turned out. When life got crazy, our gardeners responded by planting even more food, cooking more healthy meals at home, and put more food up for the winter than they previously intended. We’re so thankful that this program brought us all together to learn, share, and reap the rewards of hard work and dedication in such a necessary time.