There's something about the kindness of strangers that makes magic happen. "Pay it Forward," means something special in this day and age. It's a little gesture toward your fellow person that lifts spirit. And it makes you feel good when you do it.
About a month ago, I stumbled across a video about a project a small independent $1 pizza joint did at their place in Philadelphia. When customers came in for their slice, they could, for a buck, buy a slice for someone else. They had a system to keep track. For each free slice, a sticky note went up on the wall with a message from the giver. If someone came in and needed a slice but didn't have money, all they had to do was pull a sticky off the wall. People, some homeless came in and got fed. Amazing. I just love the idea!
It got me to thinking. How could we do something similar with plants, especially vegetables?
Way back before Distinctive Gardens, Bud had a big garden at the house. During harvest, he would pick boxes of beautiful tomatoes. Each week, he and Quin, who was 4 and 5 years old at the time, would deliver a box or more to people at the Sterling high rise. Many of these folks had gardens in their younger days. Delivery day was the kind of day that makes your heart sore. These people loved being able to eat a 'real' tomato, just like they did way back before they had to leave their gardening days behind. It's a time he cherishes and still talks about to this day.
At Distinctive Gardens, Bud puts in a big veggie garden out back each spring. Customers come in throughout the harvest and pick up fresh vegetables. It's a fun time of year. There's a lot of good cheer going on during those weeks in late August through early October. So why not spread that goodness? Why not create a way for all of us, together, to brighten up someone's life in the Sauk Valley? How about a garden that gives? I say, yes! Let's give it a go.
When you come into the shop, you'll see a big chalkboard on the back wall. That's the Giving Garden board. Starting April 1 through harvest end, if you want, pick up a Giving Garden Sticky for a buck and leave a little note up on the board.
Come harvest, we'll start weekly deliveries of vegetables and your sticky notes to three locations, one each in Dixon, Sterling and Rock Falls. Bud's working out the details and we're looking at delivering to Sterling Towers, Rock Falls Civic Plaza and Heritage Square in Dixon.
If you're into social media, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest snap a pic of your note and use the hash tags, #givinggarden, #payitforward, and #sharetheharvest. That will help spread the good news.
Deliveries continue until the stickies are gone. A buck here, a buck there, maybe jot down a kind note or two. Together we can brighten someone's day. Give the gift of goodness with fresh, homegrown vegetables during harvest. Sound good?
We hope you'll consider, when you visit, being a part of our own little 'pay it forward' goodness right here in the Sauk Valley.