Growing Together Iowa

2023 Tama County Grow A Row


Growing Together Iowa raised garden beds at the Tama County Extension office grow lettuce, radishes, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, zucchini, and onions that are donated to local food pantries. 2022 was the first year to try growing pole beans on a trellis and it worked very well. The beans were quite productive. Beds are tended by Tama County Master Gardeners and extension office staff. 

The project also collects donated produce from Tama county citizens.  Donations are collected all season. Examples include asparagus, rhubarb, sweet corn, tomatoes of all sizes and colors, onions, green beans, beets, radishes, lettuce, cabbage, pears, apples, several types of peppers, potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, zucchini, pumpkins, and several types of winter squash. More than 5,000 servings of fresh vegetables were donated in 2023 to local food pantries.

During the first weeks in May, food pantry clients are given the opportunity to receive their own tomato plant to grow at home to help feed their family. 150 plants are distributed over a 3 week period of time. 


Raised bed garden with donation garden signage

Growing Together Iowa aims to increase access to fruits and vegetables at Iowa’s food pantries through donation gardening partnerships. Master Gardener staff, volunteers and food pantry partners work together to provide garden grown produce throughout the growing season. Program availability varies by county.