University of Maryland Extension

Grow It! Eat It!

The Grow It! Eat It! campaign is a joint venture between The Maryland Master Gardener program and the Home and Garden Information Center - to address the growing need of Marylanders to learn how to start and maintain successful food gardens.  Master Gardeners achieve this goal through the following activities:

Spring is here and it’s the perfect time to start a home garden! With the current COVID-19 crisis we are all a bit stressed and could really use the therapeutic benefits and productivity of food gardening. Here are just few of the many benefits to growing your own food:

  • Fresher & More Nutritious - Fruits and vegetables that ripen naturally in the garden and are consumed within days of harvest have more nutrients than store-bought vegetables.
  • Save Money - A seed packet of basil costs as little as $.99 and contains hundreds of seeds. One small bunch of basil in the grocery store can cost 3x as much.
  • Greater Variety - Food gardening provides the opportunity to try plants and varieties that aren’t available in markets.
  • Less Environmental Impact - We minimize our food's environmental impact when we grow it at home.
  • No Pesticides – Growing food at home means you have total control of how the plant is grown and cared for. It’s a simple way to guarantee your food is organic when you don’t use pesticides.

Below are resources for you to learn more and help you get started. Happy growing!

UME Home & Garden Information Center (HGIC) Webpage

UME MD Grows Blog

HGIC YouTube Channel on Food Gardening

Have Questions? Contact our MD Gardening Experts at


Community Education

Members of the "Grow it! Eat it!" teams conduct presentations and talks addressing food gardening topics throughout the community. Current presentation topics and schedules may be found in Public Events. Power points or pdfs of presentations can be found in GIEI Howard County Presentations. To request a catalog containing current Howard County MG presentations and request a GIEI presentation, contact Caroline Feil at


At public events team members use displays to advocate food gardening and they avail themselves to discussions of food gardening. 

Demonstration Garden

An organic vegetable garden is maintained at the Howard County Conservancy as a demonstration garden.

Tips and Information

The "Grow it! Eat it!" web site has numerous resources to assist the interested vegetable gardener.


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