The recently-launched Port Huron Sprouts program is putting free seed packets into the hands of city residents.
It’s proven so successful that Luke Marion, owner of the MIgardener store and tasked with assembling the seed packets, is already working to put another 500 packets together. The program launched with 1,000 seed packets.
"As soon as people see store shelves empty they realize that everyone needs food but that desire to eat boxed food goes down. People start to want to eat more nutritious foods," Marion says.
"The problem is that fresh food is perishable and tends to be more expensive. The way to make it less expensive is to grow your own."
The Port Huron Sprouts seed packets come with gardening instructions and links to tutorial videos produced by MIgardener.
The seed packets contain seeds for carrots, broccoli, lettuce, beets, tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, green beans, cabbage, and kale.
"Helping to provide long-term food stability for residents, creating new food sources and giving families an activity to do during this challenging time is a win for everyone," says Mayor Pauline Repp.
Port Huron Sprouts is funded by Community Development Block Grant funds.
The program was launched as a way to provide self-sufficiency and stability during the coronavirus global health crisis. Statewide shutdowns making it more difficult to purchase gardening supplies coupled with the economic stress of associated lay-offs and work furloughs have dovetailed to create a looming food crisis.
"Because of the recent legislation that makes it difficult to buy gardening supplies, there are a lot of low income people that can’t buy supplies now. And plus with the economic downturn, it reduces people’s purchasing ability. So we wanted to help as many people as possible to grow a garden," Marion says.
"This is a good opportunity for us to get our seeds in the hands of people that will utilize them best."
For those interested in the Port Huron Sprouts program, email Sprouts@PortHuron.org for the latest information.