WEST CHICAGO, Ill.--()--More than 1.25 million votes have been cast, the route is set, and 23 of the country’s largest cities await a visit from the Burpee Home Gardens® “Grow Anywhere Tour” truck. It’s the first tour of its kind to deliver plants and produce nationwide. The “Grow Anywhere Tour” will hit the road in March, traveling more than 10,000 miles to deliver 30,000 pounds of fresh produce, 13,000 vegetable plants, gardening information and support to show the country how easy it is to grow healthy food anywhere.
“All you really need is a container with soil, access to water and a sunny location, and you can grow anywhere.”
Since January, students and school staff, community members and Facebook fans in cities around the nation campaigned to have their schools selected as a stop on the tour. The school with the most votes in each city has been awarded the opportunity to host an event where the Burpee Home Gardens team will distribute 1,300 pounds of fresh produce, 450 vegetable plants and gardening support materials at each site. In addition, each school that is selected as a “Grow Anywhere Tour” stop will receive 50 vegetable plants for its school garden.
“It was a tough competition in Michigan, with Flint and Detroit still essentially tied after 40,000 votes, but our community pulled through in a huge way,” says Dennis Lackey, FoodCorps service member at Crim Fitness Foundation in Flint. “Between the passionate principal and staff at Durant-Tuuri-Mott Elementary and dedicated local media coverage, we really were able to spread enthusiasm about bringing the Burpee Home Gardens ‘Grow Anywhere Tour’ to Flint.
“We are excited to incorporate the plants into our ongoing garden lessons at the school and thrilled to have the chance to show how healthy, easy-to-grow vegetables can have a lasting impact on our community and beyond.”
There are 13.6 million Americans living in areas with limited access to fresh produce, known as food deserts, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Most people with such limited access – 82 percent – live in urban areas. The “Grow Anywhere Tour” is raising awareness of this issue while fulfilling the immediate need for fresh, healthy foods. These urban communities will be empowered to grow their own produce and take control of their health.
“By digging in and helping these communities explore the basics of gardening, we’re demonstrating that you don’t need an acre of land or the expertise of a master gardener to grow your own vegetables,” says Scott Mozingo, product manager at Burpee Home Gardens. “All you really need is a container with soil, access to water and a sunny location, and you can grow anywhere.”
The “Grow Anywhere Tour” focuses on inspiring new generations of urban gardeners to grow their own vegetables on their balcony, back patio, or as part of a neighborhood or community garden. Burpee Home Gardens experts will be available at each tour stop to provide gardening advice, information and educational materials. They will focus on helping communities learn the basics of gardening.
The Burpee Home Gardens “Grow Anywhere Tour” kicks off in Charlotte, N.C., on March 13, 2013. Throughout the spring, the tour will be visiting:*
- Hidden Valley Elementary School, Charlotte, N.C. — March 13
- Charles R. Drew Charter School, Atlanta, Ga. — March 15
- Jones Valley K-8 School, Birmingham, Ala. — March 19
- Redemptorist High School, Baton Rouge, La. — March 21
- Ridgemont Early Childhood Center, Houston, Texas — March 25
- St. Phillip’s School and Community Center, Dallas, Texas — March 27
- Tierra Bonita Elementary School, Lancaster, Calif. — April 2
- Thurgood Marshall Academic High School, San Francisco, Calif. — April 12
- De La Salle North Catholic High School, Portland, Ore. — April 15
- McCarver Elementary School, Tacoma, Wash. — April 17
- Escalante Elementary School, Salt Lake City, Utah — April 22
- Inner City School, Denver, Colo. — April 25
- Briarcliff Elementary School, Kansas City, Mo. — April 27
- Moulton Extended Learning Center, Des Moines, Iowa — May 1
- Farnsworth Aerospace PreK-8 Magnet, St. Paul, Minn. — May 3
- Milwaukee High School of the Arts, Milwaukee, Wis. — May 6
- Arnold Mireles Academy, Chicago, Ill. — May 8
- Durant-Tuuri-Mott Elementary School, Flint, Mich. — May 10
- Watterson-Lake (K-8), Cleveland, Ohio — May 13
- Friendship Public Charter School Tech Prep Academy, Washington, D.C. — May 15
- Baltimore Community High School, Baltimore, Md. — May 17
- Brentwood High School, Brentwood, N.Y. — May 21
- Discovery Charter School, Philadelphia, Pa. — May 24
*Dates and locations subject to change
For more information on the Grow Anywhere Tour or to keep up with this cross-country journey online, visit the Burpee Gardens Facebook page or www.burpeehomegardens.com. You can also follow the truck’s progress from the road on Twitter @BurpeeHG.
ABOUT BURPEE HOME GARDENS®: Burpee Home Gardens is a program of garden-ready vegetable, herb and annual flower plants available nationally at retail garden centers. Backed by the 137-year history of Burpee, the first name in home gardening, Burpee Home Gardens provides gardeners with time-tested varieties and information, ideas and inspiration for success. For more information, visit burpeehomegardens.com.