#GrowFoodChallenge Winner Announced

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network hosted the #GrowFoodChallenge this year from Saturday, April 23 – June 18, 2022. 

This year 56 individuals, families, and childcare centers, benefitted from growing food and reducing food waste from five (5) Northwest Tennessee Counties: Benton, Carroll, Henry, Obion, and Weakley. The LFN is encouraging anybody who grows to donate their extra produce to food pantries throughout the region by visiting their webpage: nwtnlfn.org/volunteer/plant-a-row-for-the-hungry.

On Saturday, June 18th, at the Martin Farmer’s Market Harvest Celebration Event, Samantha Goyret and Caroline Ideus, Local Food Network Team Members and  Co-Managers of the Market, with the help of musician Tennessee Bob Peckham, announced the winner of this year’s #Grow Food Challenge. Congratulations to Joanne Lyles from Greenfield, Weakley County, TN! She won a Rural King freezer to include a ¼ of Giffin Farms beef out of Obion County, TN.  

Caroline Ideus (left) congratulates Joanne Lyle (middle) with Samantha Goyret (right), Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network and co-managers of the Martin Farmers Market.

#Grow Food Challenge participants could participate in three themed photo entry opportunities to win prizes: START. GROW. HARVEST. Participants had up to six chances to enter a total of 6 photos for each participant of their growing food and food waste projects. The more photos submitted, the better the chances were for winning the grand prize – a Rural King chest freezer and quarter processed beef from Giffin Farms! 

This year’s Challenge was the first time the Local Food Network decided to distribute 300 pre-made seed packets to all 9 counties in our region. “We distributed over 4,000 seed packet varieties donated to us by Society of St. Andrews, Organic High Mowing Company, and Cooperative Gardens, and UTM,” said Samantha Goyret, Director of the Local Food Network. “Eighteen (18) seed packets contained a “golden ticket” with a day pass to Discovery Park. We want to know who won those tickets. Let us know on our facebook group page @NWTN Essential Gardens! Next year we would like to distribute the seed packets at public libraries to encourage the creation of community seed banks, like the seed bank at Carroll County Public Library,” stated Goyret.

Anybody who grows food and has a little extra is encouraged to donate their extra harvest to local food pantries. Download our Hunger Agency Resource Guide to find the nearest food pantry near you.

(photo above) 2-year old teacher, Michelle Leggons from Margaret Perry Childcare Center accepted a Worm Composter as part of the #Grow Food Challenge Food Waste award donated by Robin Last. 

Join these Tennessee facebook groups for growing and composting information, tips and challenge updates: 1) NWTN Essential Gardens – for garden pictures; 2) Come Post your Compost – for compost pictures; and/or 3) Use hashtag #GrowFoodChallenge on your group facebook photo posts. 

We hope you can join us for next year’s Northwest Tennessee #GrowFoodChallenge. The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network serves as a catalyst for a thriving and equitable local food system that is accessible to ALL. Learn more at nwtnlfn.org/grow-food-challenge.

The Grow Food Challenge is a collaborative project organized by the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network, FFA Student Plant Sale Groups, City of Martin, Martin Farmers Market and the Tennessee Environmental Council. 

We are thankful to our generous sponsors and donors who support this year’s #GrowFoodChallenge: Giffin Farms & Rural King, Bamboozle, Society of St. Andrews, Cooperative Gardens, High Mowing Organic Seeds, Tennessee Environmental Council, Vowel & Sons, University of Tennessee at Martin, Walmart – Martin

In photo (left to right): Caroline Ideus, Local Food Network presenting the Giffin Family a Farm Sign as a Thank you for their ¼ cow donation with Micayla, Everett and Derek from Giffin Farms, alongside Samantha Goyret, Local Food Network. 

~ Samantha Goyret
Executive Director, NWTNLFN