Photo by Steve Shay
On Saturday, September 15th, Furney’s Nursery in Des Moines hosted AmpleHarvest Seattle Festival to benefit AmpleHarvest.org. Pictured is Graham Kerr, known by many as "The Galloping Gourmet". He spoke, and lives in Mount Vernon, WA.

UPDATE: Furney’s Nursery in Des Moines hosted AmpleHarvest Seattle Festival, Graham Kerr & Ed Hume

UPDATE: Saturday, 6:00 p.m.

By Steve Shay

Furney’s Nursery in Des Moines hosted the AmpleHarvest Seattle Festival Sept. 15 to benefit AmpleHarvest.org, a web-based resource that enables home gardeners to donate their excess produce to local food pantries. Currently, 5,500 pantries and food banks are registered, including those in Des Moines, White Center and West Seattle.

Featured speakers supporting AmpleHarvest included gardening expert Ed Hume, and Emmy Award-winning TV chef and author, Graham Kerr, who many remember as the "Galloping Gourmet." He and his wife Treena, who also attended, have lived in Mount Vernon, WA. for 12 years.

Kerr told the audience he understood temptation of fattening food and gave this example, "A sugar-glazed doughnut filled with jam that you can dunk into really-leaded coffee on a cold morning, steaming up with that fragrance.

"I know," he said, as the audience nodded. "This is edible pornography, you see. We have to find a (different) way to delight people, and to do less harm to the soil, the water, to each other, and the air that we breath. Come on. We are fellow inhabitants of this planet and we can make a difference. I believe we're going to make backyard community into action with food pantries, the biggest personal movement in this part of the world. We will get more people involved with what we're talking about with AmpleHarvest. We are opinion-setters in the Seattle region. This is a mega-trend area. We do get involved with things that have a practical outcome. We can make this work on a national basis. There should be no gardener who cannot go online and find the answer to where to take surplus produce and make it available to someone else.

"Why try?," he continued. "If we are saying that we are a nation who cares then something has to happen where we go beyond our self-interest. It is so far from the truth that people line up for food just because it is free and they don't want to work. Many who once volunteered at food banks now find themselves in those lines."

After his talk, Kerr autographed his book, "Growing at the Speed of Life" and told the Highline Times, "I live in Mount Vernon because it is a seed-producing and vegetable area. Some of the seeds from there supply almost all of the world's supplies of cabbage, broccoli and celery. I want to be in the epicenter that will shake the world of its roots."

The book details growing information and recipes for over 60 fruits and vegetables, and advises beginners on how to start gardening.

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Press release:

On Saturday, September 15th, Furney’s Nursery in Des Moines will host the AmpleHarvest Seattle Festival from 9:00am – 4:00pm to benefit AmpleHarvest.org, a web-based resource that enables home gardeners to donate their excess produce to local food pantries.

The Keynote Speaker is internationally known culinary and television personality and award-winning author Graham Kerr, the former “Galloping Gourmet” who will speak to the audience about the benefits of growing and eating fresh vegetables and fruits in a home garden and will be joined by special guest, gardening expert Ed Hume. Gary Oppenheimer, Founder and Executive Director of AmpleHarvest.org, will address the audience to explain the powerful need for growers to join the efforts to help families in the Seattle area and Colin McCrate of Seattle Urban Farm Company and Sue Goetz of The Creative Gardener will address how to grow a bountiful and edible garden.

Focusing on the organization’s vision of “No Food Left Behind”, Oppenheimer explained that “More than 50 million Americans, including 1 out of 4 children under the age of six, are food insecure. At the same time, more than 40 million people grow food in home gardens, often more than they can use, preserve or give to friends. It doesn’t have to be that way. The focus of AmpleHarvest.org is to redirect fresh, locally-grown produce which would otherwise go to waste to hungry families and Furney’s is providing a great opportunity for Seattle growers to recognize their ability to help their neighbors in need with no additional cost.”

Guests are encouraged to participate in a “Produce Drive” by bringing their fresh garden foods to the event which will be distributed to the Des Moines Area Food Bank. The event will feature a Community Pavilion including local gardening businesses and organizations where guests will enjoy demonstrations, healthy food and family fun. Additional information including sponsorship and booth opportunities is available at www.AmpleHarvest.org/Seattle.

AmpleHarvest.org, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization which works to diminish hunger in America by educating, encouraging and empowering growers to easily find a local food bank eager to receive the excess garden bounty. For more information on the campaign, visit www.AmpleHarvest.org/press or call AMPLE-6-9880 (267-536-9880).

Furney’s Nursery has been inspiring gardeners in the Pacific Northwest for over 60 years, and is the largest garden center in South King County, providing the best plants, expert advice, garden supplies and outdoor living products.

Follow AmpleHarvest.org at twitter.com/AmpleHarvest and at Facebook.com/AmpleHarvest.org.

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