Backyard Harvest works in partnership with our community to connect those with extra fresh produce and those who need it most.
In what she now laughingly refers to as her "gardening accident," Amy Grey, a book designer and mom in Moscow, Idaho, grew two-hundred extra heads of lettuce in her first-ever vegetable garden. This was in 2006, when her boys, Tom and Sam, were then a boisterous five and two. They were having a terrific time playing in the mud and spreading seeds, and Amy reveling in their joy (and being able to get some work done of her own) did not stop them. Days later, as heads of lettuce began to spring up everywhere Tom and Sam's play seemed a little less benign. For some people, this would have meant a bigger pile of compost. In Amy's case, it translated into the first of hundreds of trips to her local food bank, and a passion for bringing fresh fruits and vegetables to the region's most vulnerable populations.
Working alone at first and then with volunteers, Amy created Backyard Harvest to connect local gardeners, farmers, and fruit tree owners to area food pantries and meal programs. "While my garden 'mistakes' got the organization off the ground," she said “it was really suggestions from my neighbors and the vibrancy of the local food scene here on the Palouse that allowed Backyard Harvest to flourish.” What began with Amy’s simple pick-up and drop-off service, quickly expanded into a series of gathering, gleaning and growing programs that would quickly transform that initial lettuce donations into tens of thousands of pounds of fresh produce for her neighbors