The Garden of Giving will soon be into its third planting season and for that, Tammy Graeber wanted to thank the many volunteers who has made it possible.

Graeber, the founder and director of The Garden of Giving, invited over 200 volunteers to an appreciation pizza party with a celebratory cake, held at Northampton Community College Monroe campus Feb. 27.

"I wanted to thank everyone and all the volunteers and organizations that have helped The Garden of Giving," said Graeber.

Graeber believes God placed it on her heart to take land her parents donated to her and grow fresh vegetables and fruit to be donated to local food pantries. She thinks that just because a family has fallen on hard times doesn't mean they wouldn't enjoy and benefit from fresh and nutritional food.

Through her efforts, The Garden of Giving is a 501c3 charitable organization, and as of last year, supplied four local food pantries and three soup kitchens with potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, beans, green peppers, squash, corn and strawberries.

Graeber is grateful to all the Boy and Girl Scout troops, 4H clubs, Women's clubs, service organizations, individuals and youth groups who have helped till the two acres, mulch it, plant it, weed it and harvest it.

Groups like Teen Knights, a Christian-based youth group that meets the first Saturday every month at Stroudsburg Weslyn Church.

"It's a group of kids who get together to have fun and leave stress behind. We also encourage them to help their community," says Teen Knights' director, Patricia Knopa.

They lend their young hands and hearts to helping Women's Resources, Lukie's Fall Festival, a fundraiser for finding a cure for Spinal Muscular Dystrophy (SMA), Monroe County Head Start and The Garden of Giving.

"We had a great time at The Garden," said Knopa, "and we plan to help again this year."

Diane Lake, president of the Pocono Mountain Women's Club said members of her group helped harvest the corn.

"We had a lot of fun and we'll be sure to help The Garden again this year," she said.

Graeber says she is scheduling the first spring planting for May 20, 21, and 22, with maybe putting in spinach and Romaine lettuce a little earlier.

"A lot depends on the weather and how many plants and seeds are donated."

Her goals for this year is to plant raspberry and blueberry bushes and have a volunteer shed-a place to store shovels and other gardening tools and items used by the volunteers.

If interested in learning more about The Garden of Giving, contact Graeber at 570-402-1282 or email gardenofgiving@gmail.com [1].

If you would like to make a tax deductible contribution, please make checks payable to The Garden of Giving, RR6 Box 6580C, Saylorsburg, PA 18353.