San Antonio, Texas (CNN) - For Holly Hirshberg, gardening started as a way to bond with her children. But when the recession hit, her backyard hobby became a necessity.
"In 2008, my husband lost his job just like many other Americans, and we were living off of our garden," she said.
Hirshberg and her family of four ate a variety of homegrown foods - including broccoli, carrots, okra, squash and tomatoes - so they could make ends meet. She was pleasantly surprised by how simple and healthful they were.
"It was nice to know that not only could I take care of (my family) out of what I grew in my garden, but I could take care of them really well," she said.
After realizing how much nutritious food she was able to grow, Hirshberg began collecting seeds from her garden and sharing them with others.
In 2008, she started The Dinner Garden, an organization that provides free packs of seeds to people so they can grow enough food to feed a family of four. Since its inception, The Dinner Garden has provided seeds to 65,000 families across the United States.
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