The holiday season is a time when people think about charity, giving back to the community and those who do not have as much as they do.
Mike Dickson has taken the idea of charity and made it his mission to feed as many people healthy, good produce as he can. He started working as a landscaper 15 years ago. He then added a nursery to provide his own plants on his landscaping jobs. Seven years ago, he started his nonprofit organization Seeds of Life Nurseries to provide plants to local churches and businesses.
But his biggest charity is feeding local families that do not have enough to eat. Over the last year he gave away more than 110,000 pounds of produce to poor families in and around Frederick, Md. Much of the produce provided came from his own farm with the rest being provided by volunteers.
His most recent event was on Wednesday, Nov. 19. He worked with Hillcrest Elementary School to have a food drive for families in the Hill Crest area of Frederick. He and his army of volunteers set up tables, chairs and around 7,000 pounds of apples, squash, carrots, cabbage and canned food. From 4 to 6 p.m., Mike was in the thick of it.
He was everywhere at once handing out food, talking and laughing with people coming to pick up food and giving out high fives to young kids—happy the whole time
After the event there were several boxes of apples left, which was not a problem to Dickson. He said he would take them to a senior center to hand out.
Dickson even has a restaurant in downtown Frederick called The Juice Plate, which he opened with Pattee Brown, the co-founder of the Frederick Gorilla, a free Magazine. It offers fresh-squeezed juices, wraps, sandwiches and smoothies. They even have wheatgrass shots, which are made by cutting fresh wheatgrass in the store and grinding it up in a blender.
Dickson also offers cooking classes twice a week at The Juice Plate. On Sundays, he has a mothers cooking class to teach mothers good quality meals to make at home. On Fridays, he has a children’s cooking class for elementary and middle-school kids.
Looking into the future, Dickson is expanding his operations by buying more fields for planting. One is on Butterfly Lane in Frederick. He uses this field to provide for Seeds of Life and The Juice Plate.
His newest field is out in Jefferson, Md., and he has plans to start putting up hydroponic greenhouses growing produce and housing fish as well who can live off some of the plants in the greenhouses.
Dickson is always looking for volunteers or donations. If you want to help, go to The Seeds of Life website at solnurseries.info or call Mike Dickson at 240-344-6533.