Grow And Share Begins 8th Annual Planting Season

Photo: Frank and Kay Whatley.
Photo: Frank and Kay Whatley.

Local nonprofit Grow And Share is preparing for their Garden Plant Giveaways, by beginning to plant seeds. They are seeking volunteers to “get their hands in the dirt” by holding planting days at their Raleigh greenhouse via their Meetup group, which includes what volunteers need to know and easy sign-up.

February 27, 2016 is the first planting day for volunteers. Volunteers are asked to arrive the greenhouse at 10am, where they may help fill trays with soil, prepare labels, and get seed into the ground.  Being a volunteer gives people a chance to help others, plus the fun of helping select the plants that will be given away this Spring.

Grow And Share plants a variety of vegetable and herb plants. These are taken care of in the Raleigh greenhouse until the Spring plant giveaways in April or May.  Depending on the volunteering and growing conditions, each year Grow And Share gives away between 10,000 and 20,000 garden plants.

The Grow And Share greenhouse is located at 4013 Brown Place, in Raleigh NC. This location is just around the corner from the Capitol Boulevard / 401 split.  The greenhouse — called the “Tucker” greenhouse for donors Clyde and Marguerite Tucker — was moved from its original Zebulon NC location to Raleigh in 2015. There, it is overseen by Greenhouse Manager Linda Gaskins — a long-time Grow And Share volunteer.

Grow And Share is a non-profit fighting hunger from the ground upTM via gardening and community building. The nonprofit has been working since Fall 2008 to grow interest in gardening for home use, and grow interest–and passion–in creation of Shared GardensTM and Community Gardens in neighborhoods.  The group has installed gardens at schools, businesses, and homes that were designed to provide food for more than one family.

The 501(c)(3) nonprofit was founded by Frank and Kay Whatley in 2008, with the first growing season in Spring 2009. That first year, the Whatleys gave away 2,000 plants and signed up over 100 local gardeners from a small greenhouse that Frank built behind their Zebulon NC home. Since that small start, a larger greenhouse and more volunteers have led to giveaway of tens of thousands of plants each year. “Millions of fruit and vegetables harvested,” Frank would say!  Says Mrs. Whatley, “We believe that people can feed themselves and those around them; and that they all benefit from the sharing. It’s good for communties, especially with the state of the food system these days.”

Each Grow And Share gardener signs a Pledge To Share in order to receive free plants. The plants are given, up to a few dozen for each family, as needed.  Grow And Share encourages everyone to garden, and by doing so to help combat hunger. The Pledge asks that they:

  • grow some of their own healthy food
  • become more self reliant
  • share their harvest with their community
  • fight hunger by shared food reaching those who need it

To join us as a gardener, volunteer, donor, or sponsor, email Grow And Share, visit their website, see their Facebook Page. or go to their Meetup Group to volunteer. The more hands that they get into the dirt now, the more plants they can give, and the more local healthy food can be grown.

Grow And Share logo, by Rachel Hestilow. Source:
Grow And Share logo, by Rachel Hestilow. Source:

Additional Spring 2016 Volunteer Days

  • Saturday, March 5 @ 10am-until
  • Saturday, March 12 @ 10am-until
  • Saturday, March 19 @ 10am-until
  • Saturday, March 26 @ 10am-until
  • Saturday, April 2 @ 10am-until (planting/transplanting)
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About Kay Whatley 2309 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.