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Rise Against Hunger is starting a virtual garden club! The Rise Against Hunger Garden Club, open to new and seasoned gardeners alike, supports Rise Against Hunger’s efforts to empower communities in the midst of COVID-19 through the continuation of sustainable agriculture programs. 

Elizabeth Bradford will be leading the Rise Against Hunger Garden Club as its instructor! She isn’t only our amazing Community Engagement Manager in Pittsburgh — she’s also a superstar gardener, and she’ll be sharing tutorial videos full of gardening tips with the Garden Club members, as well as engaging with them throughout the growing process on a private, members-only Facebook group. Learn more about Elizabeth and her passion for and experience in gardening in our Q&A below! 

Elizabeth Bradford, Garden Instructor

When did you begin gardening? How did gardening become a passion for you?
I was introduced to gardening at a young age. I watched my mom plant peppers, tomatoes and watermelon in our backyard. While in college my interests in nutrition grew. As a graduation requirement, I was able to work in my university’s agriculture department. There is where I really dove into growing food for myself and sharing what I learned and experienced with others. 

What made you want to be a part of the Rise Against Hunger Garden Club?
I thought sharing my hobby could be fruitful for both members of the Garden Club and also our beneficiaries who will benefit from the support our members provide. Whether you are a new gardener, are looking for a new hobby or looking for a relaxing atmosphere to share a mutual interest, the Garden Club is for everyone. 

How will Garden Club members be able to connect with you and one another during this unprecedented time?
Members will be able to connect with me and others through our private Facebook group.

What are the benefits of growing a home garden?
Some benefits of growing a home garden include immediate access to fresh fruits and veggies and peace of mind surrounding chemicals and products used during the growing process. It also creates the opportunity to make a positive environmental impact and can be a personal oasis or avenue to relaxation. 

What are a couple of tips you would give to first-time gardeners?
If you are a first-time gardener, pay attention to how light plays through your prospective planting location. Your plants will need at least six hours. Start with great soil! Avoid soils with synthetic ingredients; organic soils with natural ingredients are best. Make sure your plants are watered every day and grow food you love to eat!

Serving as the instructor for the Rise Against Hunger Garden Club, what is one thing you hope members take away from this experience?
I hope members are able to leave this experience feeling inspired and equipped to grow their own food while also feeling a part of our mission to create sustainability across the world.  

At Rise Against Hunger, we strive to empower communities by planting seeds of hope. What does “planting seeds of hope” mean to you?
One of the most commendable actions we can contribute to in this lifetime is growth. The growth of ourselves and others. Planting seeds of hope is the first step to creating a thriving atmosphere for the growth of people and the enhancement of their nutrition for decades to come. 

Want to be a part of the Rise Against Hunger Garden Club? Register online today