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Get to Know Your Grow2Give Leaders – Global Garden

Kate Kasserman is one of Global Garden’s Grow2Give leaders, learn more about her and Grow2Give below!

Kate at Global Garden

What exactly is the work that you do with Grow2Give?
I co-lead Grow2Give at Global Garden with David Kodeski — I think this is our fourth year or thereabouts. We choose our crops, start seedlings, plant, tend, seed save, generally do all sorts of experiments, and harvest for the Lincoln Square Friendship Center, which is a food pantry, and First Slice, which cooks meals for people who need them. The Friendship Center and First Slice are both close to the garden, so we harvest right before we deliver. We also rescue more volunteer edible seedlings than anyone knows what to do with and scurry around trying to find them homes! If anyone wants cilantro, talk to me.

Why is it you decided to work with Grow2Give?
I came to gardening sideways — I never had any particular talent for or interest in it, and I like to view myself as a tangible example that, truly, anyone can learn! (You could not pry me away from my plantfriends now.) It was political and social concern that got me to try to figure out what I could do here and now that would be the most useful towards not just dealing with immediate needs in the neighborhood but also building the sorts of systems that I believe we’ll need in the future. So, that led me to growing food, which led me to PGP — I ended up co-leading our Grow2Give program at my garden as something of a battlefield commission, though, simply because they needed someone to do it, and Alexandra asked me (I had been a dedicated G2G waterer before, which is probably all that could have recommended me — I’d barely been gardening for a year, and thank the heavens that David had more experience!).

One of the many colorful Grow2Give harvests at Global Garden.

How has working with a program such as Grow2Give changed you, or made you a better person?
What I most hope is that in a small way, our work helps give people more of a sense of control over their lives — and that the community respects and cares for its members. (When I volunteered with Food Not Bombs, the slogan they’d adopted, which I like very much, is solidarity, not charity.)


Interview conducted by Mitch Carlstrom.