Our Community Garden is an important part of our community outreach each year. Church volunteers and their friends work hard throughout the the growing season preparing and enriching the soil, planting, weeding, tending, watering, and harvesting hundreds of pounds of vegetables.
Fresh vegetables lovingly grown by dedicated volunteers are joyfully donated to Pastor’s Pantry clients who are in need of food. Some of the fresh vegetables enjoyed by clients of Pastor’s Pantry include tomatoes; okra; three varieties of potatoes; asparagus; onions; green, red, and yellow peppers; eggplant; Brussel sprouts; blueberries; butternut squash; corn; kale and other greens.
Despite the cold temps and Spring snows, the First Reformed UCC Community Garden is alive with God’s blessing of renewed life and sustenance. Garden volunteers and Open Hands Ministry garden workers participated in two work days in March to prepare the garden for Spring planting. They also harvested 10 pounds of collards for Pastors’ Pantry clients.
On March 18, Kids’ Church participants, Ethan Lovell, Jacob and Emma Hartle, Lucas Peterson, and Parker and Patrick Horton helped plant 15 pounds of red, white and Yukon gold seed potatoes and more than 100 red and white onions. Joni Walser read the “Parable of the Sower” about Jesus instructing us to sow our seeds on fertile ground and closed with a spirited singing of “The Farmer Plants the Seed” to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell” led by Jianna Miller. Thanks to Cathy Waitman for organizing and volunteers, Joni and Sylvia Walser, Aurelia Smith, Keri Hartle, and Ava and Jianna Miller.
In addition to the preparing and planting, researchers studying community garden soils from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment selected the Garden as one of ten community gardens statewide to participate in the soil study. Soil samples have been taken and results should be back in a couple of months. The findings will help guide future efforts to maintain soil health and sustainability in the Garden.
In April and May volunteers will be installing new raised beds and building a pollinator garden. If you would like to help in the Garden please let Edgar Miller know at firstname.lastname@example.org or watch for Garden workday announcements in weekly church updates.
Board of Community Outreach Chairman Mark Smith is leading a discussion with the consistory on a long-term sustainability plan for the garden. Stay tuned for more details and be on the look out for opportunities to volunteer in the garden.