Botanical Garden’s Partnership with Brown County Extension & New Leaf Foods Helps Local Gardeners

By Janie Hodny, Marketing & Communications Intern – Green Bay Botanical Garden

Earlier this year, Green Bay Botanical Garden successfully donated more than a thousand plants to the New Leaf Foods Garden Blitz and the Extension Brown County Community Gardens Program for the second year in a row!

The 1,248 plants donated are considered winners from the All-America Selections (AAS) organization. The Garden utilizes parts of our landscape to grow a trial and display garden for a number of edible plants each year. Our Horticulture Team starts these plants by seed. Once they’re ready to be taken out of our greenhouses and planted in the Garden, any extras are saved to be shared with our local community.

Once again we partnered to donate the extras to the Garden Blitz and the Community Gardens Program!

“We have roughly 300 gardeners that participate every year,” said Aubrey Fliss, Brown County Extension Community Gardens Coordinator. “70% of our participants are at low-to-moderate income levels so we have plant giveaways and also drop off these donations at each community garden location as needed.”

Mark Konlock, Director of Horticulture, emphasized that there are definite perks to sharing these specific plants:

“By donating vegetables that are All-America Selections winners, we’re giving people plants that have been tested throughout the country that are higher yielding, more disease- and insect-resistant, and better tasting. This makes it easier for people in our community to be more successful gardeners and to grow and eat healthy food.”

Garden Blitz and the Community Gardens each received about half of the plants (624). These consisted mostly of tomatoes and peppers which are popular options for testing, along with a few other vegetable options mixed in like pumpkins and watermelon. Along with the organizations receiving the plants, each plant’s tab offers a link to a website for vegetable planting tips.