A Sterling-area food bank run by Grace Covenant Church is receiving a “Spring kick-off” donation of $2,500 thanks to gardeners in the area buying their 2021 Blue Ridge Grown starter herb and vegetable plants from Reston Farm Garden Market.
The donation was part of a pilot program called “Plant a Better Tomorrow,” founded by Riverbend Nursery LLC, a wholesale grower headquartered in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
Reston Farm Garden Market and Riverbend contribute a portion of sales of every plant sold in the Blue Ridge Grown “Plant a Better Tomorrow” line to help allay food insecurity locally where these plants are purchased.
The “Plant a Better Tomorrow” program is the brainchild of the Riverbend Nursery team. Riverbend has been selling perennials, herbs, groundcovers, and ornamental grasses for 30 years to retailers and wants to give back to its communities.
“When the pandemic hit and food security became an issue for so many, we wanted to find a way to help alleviate food insecurity and support fresh food access to our mission of bringing high-quality plants to gardeners,” said Jonathan Cottle, senior vice president of sales for Riverbend.
The Weinstein family, who operate the Reston Farm Garden Market, are very enthusiastic about the program.
“We are so excited to be a contributing part of this effort. There are so many families in need of help, that we want to contribute in the most profound way possible,” said Bonita Weinstein, co-owner with her husband Lowell. “As a family, we have struggled through hard times ourselves, and we want the community to know we are with them! As a family-owned business, we remain local, and rooted in faith and family values!”
The “Plant a Better Tomorrow” program raised $14,500 in 2021.
Donations are being made in Atlanta, Ga.; Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh, N.C.; Knoxville and Nashville, Tenn.; and in Pulaski, Reston, and Virginia Beach, Va. Riverbend plans to continue and extend the program for 2022, according to Cottle.
“We are happy we raised as much as we did in this first season. After our success in the 2021 season, we are excited to see how much more we can grow this program in the regions we currently serve and across the nation,” he said.
About Riverbend Nursery
Riverbend Nursery is a wholesale grower of high-quality perennials, annuals, herbs, groundcovers, and ornamental grasses for retail outlets in the Mid-Atlantic States. More than 2000 varieties are produced, using in-ground, container crops, and heated and unheated greenhouses. Riverbend has two facilities, a 100-acre facility in Riner, Virginia, and a 40-acre facility 20 minutes away that focuses on LiveRoof materials.
About Reston Farm Garden Market
Located in Reston, Virginia, we’re passionate about serving our local Northern Virginia community by providing fresh, locally sourced produce, and other farm-fresh goods, offering healthy plants and garden supplies, and celebrating unforgettable seasonal events. Reston Farm Garden Market takes great pride in helping families better prepare for tomorrow, according to co-owner Bonita Weinstein. “Growing and harvesting your own food brings a sense of joy and accomplishment. It can also bring a great family bonding experience watching your own food grow.”