Grow Food Challenge


The #GrowFoodChallenge is a call to action for individuals, families, schools, youth, & community groups in Northwest Tennessee to grow food & build soil.

From Saturday, April 13 – June 29, 2024, registered participants in the #GrowFoodChallenge will receive free seeds at a Seed Distribution Site within the 9-county region of Northwest Tennessee. During the challenge, participants may earn up to 6 prize entries by submitting online  photos of your growing food AND building compost projects.

Steps to Participate in the #Grow Food Challenge

  1. 1st STEP => REGISTER HERE
  2. Submit Themed Photos. Photos must be taken during the current growing year. Submit up to 1 photo each of your growing food and food waste projects by 11:59 pm on the following photo submission deadline dates:
    May 16, 2024: START
    June 13, 2024: GROW
    June 27, 2024: HARVEST
  3. Like our Facebook page @NWTNLFN and join the #Come Post Your Compost program.
  4. Use hashtag #GrowFoodChallenge on social media posts.
  5. Celebrate with us as we announce the themed prize winners via facebook live @NWTNLFN and at 10 am on market Saturdays:
    Saturday, May 18th at 10am: START => To be announced at the Dresden Farmers Market
    Saturday, June 15th at 10am: GROW => To be announced at the McKenzie Farmers Market
    Saturday, June 29th at 10am: HARVEST (GRAND PRIZE) => To be announced at the Martin Farmers Market

PHOTO PRIZE SUBMISSIONS => START. GROW. HARVEST.

All participants must submit themed photo submissions to be eligible for prizes by by 11:59pm of the deadline date. Click on the images below to submit your #GrowFoodChallenge photos. Multiple form submissions are not allowed.

Photos must be taken during the current growing year. Click on the category images below to access our online photo submission form – one submission per household only. TN Residents eligible in the following counties: Benton, Carroll, Crockett, Dyer, Lake, Henry, Gibson, Obion & Weakley.

Get STARTed! Pick-up FREE Seed Packets from our #GrowFoodChallenge Seed Distribution Partners, while supplies last.

RULES TO PARTICIPATE

  1. Anybody who wants to grow food and compost can join; however, recipients of #GrowFoodChallenge prizes are only open to residents living in the following Northwest Tennessee Counties: Benton, Carroll, Crockett Dyer, Gibson, Henry, Lake, Obion, and Weakley.
  2. One form submission per each theme (START. GROW. HARVEST.) is allowed per household/entity.
  3. There is no size requirement for how big your garden or composting operation has to be, just that you are willing to try growing food and/or composting food waste. You can grow a large vegetable garden, a raised bed, or in small pots on your porch or window sill. You can be trying composting for the very first time or fine tuning your composting bin system. What is important is learning to grow your own food, finding sustainable and innovative ways to deal with your food waste, and sharing your knowledge and harvest with others.
  4.  The Society of St. Andrew has provided the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network a donation of fruit and vegetable seeds to distribute to farmers, families, and community gardens in our area. Neither the seeds nor the produce grown from these seeds may be sold. Those who grow the produce will be able to feed their families and then share a portion of what they harvest with neighbors in need. Download our Local Food Guide to find hunger relief organizations near you.
  5. The challenge runs from Saturday, April 22 – July 1, 2023.

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based out of Martin, TN with a mission to serve as a catalyst for a thriving and equitable local food system that is accessible to ALL in Northwest Tennessee.

If you’re looking for a way to get a variety of seeds for your garden, here’s a list of our #GrowFoodChallenge Seed Donors 2024:

  • Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds – They specialize in old and rare seeds, so if you’re after something unique for your garden, they’re a good choice.
  • Burpee – This is a well-known company that offers a wide range of seeds for fruits, vegetables, flowers, and more.
  • Cooperative Gardens Commission – They work to help people grow their own food by providing seeds and support.
  • Johnny’s Select Seeds – A trusted supplier for many gardeners, they offer a variety of seeds for all sorts of plants.
  • Mary’s Heirloom Seeds – If you want to go organic and heirloom, Mary’s got what you need for a healthy, sustainable garden.
  • Seed Savers Exchange – This organization is all about preserving plant diversity; you can find some rare seeds here, too.
  • Society of St. Andrews – It’s a network that helps with food distribution and they also provided A LOT of seeds.
  • Sow True Seed – They offer non-GMO and heirloom seeds, which are perfect if you’re looking to grow natural and traditional plants.
    The #GrowFoodChallenge is paid for through a #SeedMoney Grant.

Watch our #GrowFoodChallenge video 2023! https://fb.watch/mT9C54e1Tn/

SEED PACKET VARIETIES AVAILABLE UNTIL SUPPLIES RUN OUT

 

Seed Quantity Calculator – learn just how many seeds you need to plant

Direct Sowing in the Garden Manual

Gardening 101

Extend Your Garden With Succession Planting

Quick Start Guide bed construction/preparation, site assessment, soil assessment & basic amendments, composting, recommended tool lists, water

Seed saving resources

Composting resources

WHAT'S IN THE BAG??
The Society of St. Andrew and Cooperative Gardens have provided the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network a donation of fruit and vegetable seeds to distribute to farmers, families, and community gardens in our area. Neither the seeds nor the produce grown from them may be sold. Those who grow the produce will be able to feed their families and then share a portion of what they harvest with neighbors in need. Download the NWTN Local Food Guide Magazine to donate to hunger relief organizations near you.

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network is not held accountable for seeds that do not germinate. Here are several varieties of vegetables that were pre-packaged into 300 #GrowFoodChallenge seed packages. 

What's in the Bag? Look up how to plant your seeds on the Old Farmer's Almanac.

Roots: Carrots/Parsnips/Beets

Climbers: Cucumbers, Beans

Greens: Kale, Lettuce, Swiss Chard

Herbs: Basil, Garlic Chives, or Fennel

Squash: Zuchinni, Yellow Squash, Gourds

Nightshades: Tomato, Eggplant

 

Gardening Resources

Gardening offers us a chance to help create something beautiful (with extra health benefits, too!) — whether that’s an apartment patio oasis, a windowsill with a few herbs, or a backyard garden – here are additional resources for you.

Food Waste Resources

Why not turn your food waste into treasure? Composting is nature's way of recycling. It turns common food scraps & yard trimmings into nutrient-rich organic material for your garden soil.

Join Facebook Group Come Post Your Compost

Learn all you need to know about how to compost from the Tennessee Environmental Council

  • Informational downloads available – Composting Guide, What to Compost, Simple Steps to Compost, Finished Composting Guide
  • Educational Videos
  • Register your pounds to make a difference in Northwest Tennessee!
  • Get Food Smart TN's Composting at Home guide.

Additional Resources

Did you know that 27 million tons of food is wasted in homes each year? Just one person taking action to reduce that waste makes a difference. Here are some resources to help get you start on your food waste journey:
 
Meal Planning: 
Check out the Get Food Smart TN Meal Planning Notepad to help you plan out your meals and reduce food waste.
 
Adopt Smart Food Storage Practices:
Storing produce in the right place and right temperature can reduce food waste significantly. Check out this visual guide from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
 
Donate Food: 
For more information on how and where to donate food, check out the Local Food Network's Hunger Relief Guide

#GrowFoodChallenge Photos 2021

Select photo collages submitted from Greenbrier Meadows Assisted Living, Martin, TN

About us

WHAT DO WE DO ?

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network serves as a catalyst for a thriving and equitable local food system that is accessible to ALL.

HOW TO JOIN US ?