In the summer of 2015, I applied for a domestic hunger grant through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to start a community garden to provide our neighbors and local food pantry with access to fresh locally-sourced produce.
Our congregation, Zion Lutheran Church, received $1,000 from the grant application and subsequent work began through our Social Ministry committee.
On Earth Day weekend, in April 2016 , we dedicated the “Garden of Eatin’ ” to the Glory of God as an act of worship and the garden was off and running!
Towards the end of June 2016, the garden has produced about 80 pounds of fresh vegetables that have been given to the Muscatine Community Food Pantry and a few produce has gone to our immediate neighbors.
Vegetables include: broccoli, carrots, beets, romaine lettuce, green lettuce, two types of onions, tomatoes, two varieties of kale, green peppers, beets, and red cabbage.
The Garden of Eatin’ Ministry has really taken on a life of it’s own (no pun intended) and gotten lots of inquires from our neighbors and folks in the community.
This is the kind of project that required the work of the entire congregation (and even our neighbors have graciously allowed us to use some of their water). Some one from the congregation came up with the name for the garden, a member who happens to be a farmer donated soil, another designed the garden boxes, a couple of folks planted the crops, another the sign, and then each week, one family unit signs-up to steward the garden for a week.
The week of June 26-July 2nd is my family’s week to serve. We had a great time working together in the garden and getting our hand’s dirty serving up a wonderful harvest!