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Guest Blog: Reflections on Earth Day from The Dinner Garden

April 19th, 2011


Our great grandparents knew of the importance of a home garden.  It once took only a trip out the backdoor to harvest a carrot or two for the evening stew or a quick snack for the kids. They took what they needed and canned for the future.  Thankfully, gardening is no longer our great grandparent’s chore.  Wisdom that once seemed lost or never taught have become accessible once more…gifts of container gardening, weed barriers, and internet sites come to mind. We’ve forgotten the simple promise of the seed and the strength we hold in our own hands to feed our families, until now.

The Hirshberg household, of San Antonio, planted a garden to deal with the spiraling effects of the recession, and soon after established a federally recognized nonprofit organization in an effort to heal and help a nation. Over 60,000 families have received FREE packets of vegetable garden seeds from The Dinner Garden! 136 community gardens were also granted the gift of seed!

My name is Julie McClaren Autaubo.  I am one of three full-time volunteers for The Dinner Garden. One would think that a  gardening nonprofit is only seasonal. We are not. Planting times vary with several states enjoying year-round gardening. The Dinner Garden is reminded daily that the family budget rarely includes good nutrition. This keeps me volunteering on a daily basis.  Every hand packed envelope includes 10 different vegetable seed with The Dinner Garden covering the postage.  The D.G. currently operates without major corporate sponsorship. Not only do we need donations of seed [cucumber, green beans, winter squash, chard & okra] but also donations for postage.  A generous donation of $50,000 for postage & handling would greatly assist in tackling our waiting list of 45,000 seed recipients along with meeting additional needs.  I’d would also like to tackle this volunteer’s personal dream for The Dinner Garden… seed for a vegetable or container garden sent to every mailbox across the U.S.A!

Anyone game?

Deepest Gratitude!

Julie McClaren Autaubo

Full-Time volunteer


Please consider buying a DG tee or donating the price of your favorite latte to The Dinner Garden this Earth Day! You can find us at or  Facebook us!

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Celebrate Earth Day’s 40th Anniversary with New Green Practices

April 22nd, 2010

Have you thought about how you will honor Earth Day? There’s no better time than the present to consider new green practices to make life better, for yourself, your family, and the planet. And, today, there are more eco-friendly options than ever to help you green your lifestyle, including: purchasing clothes made from sustainable fabrics, contacting your local power utility company to ask about their Green Power or Green Energy Options, updating your home with recyclable materials, bringing back the clothesline to dry your clothes (according to Planet Green, the dryer is number two on the list of household energy hogs), and, the list goes on and on.

Another great way to incorporate more green into your life is by growing your own foods, and one great convenience with growing your own foods is that you can start out as small or as big as you are able. Whether you are limited to container or greenhouse gardening, or even if you have a section of your yard suitable for Hot Mama’s Peppers and Chiles and Uncle Herb’s Favorites, growing your own foods is more doable and easier than you may believe, and it’s therapeutic. Once you begin growing from seed and reaping the many benefits of your very own ‘local’ foods, the satisfaction you’ll receive is a powerful motivator to continue living a sustainable food lifestyle.

Having your own garden is like having your own small healthy ecosystem. From nurturing chemical-free soil to growing heirloom, organic, non-GMO, and non-hybrid seeds, and feeding your family the freshest foods sourced from your yard to composting kitchen leftovers to enrich your garden soil, each of these steps help make a healthy difference in your life and the planet.

Keep it real, and go green!

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