Garden Feeds the Hungry

The garden has already resulted in over 1900 pounds
of food to be distributed to the needy in the Floral City area.

 

Church ministry grows vegetables and gives them away.

  June 2014    

Garden Feeds the Hungry

 Church ministry grows vegetables and gives them away.

 By Nancy Kennedy

  There are two kinds of community gardens. One is a plot of land that people from the community can use to grow their own food. The other is one used by people to grow food for the community. That’s the idea behind the community garden in Floral City, an outreach ministry of Floral City United Methodist Church.

Three days a week, church members come to the garden next to the church parsonage on Baker Street to weed, hoe and harvest squash, okra, tomatoes, eggplant, arugula, cantaloupes, cucumbers and watermelons.

And then they give it away.

 Produce also goes to Grace Temple Church of the Living God for its soup kitchen and First Baptist Church of Floral City for its food pantry.

 Skip LaBelle, former Georgia Master Gardener, oversees the project, which began March 20 with starter plants purchased from The Path farm.

 “I wanted to grow things that are proven products in Florida soil,” LaBelle said. “I’ve farmed in Georgia clay, but Florida soil is much different.”

 They will grow several varieties of squash: crooked neck, zucchini, “patty pan” and “eight ball,” which looks like a round zucchini; red and  green okra; yellow, red and green bell peppers, plus salad veggies and melons.

 “Many people can’t afford to buy fresh produce with food stamps,” Maldonado said.

 “This garden fits into the total ministry of the church,” said George Mitchell, president of the church’s men’s group. “For five years, we’ve had a free breakfast on Tuesday mornings, and …  we have a ministry with the elementary school collecting shoes, clothes and school supplies. This church for years has tried to serve this community by bringing the love of God and making them aware that there are people who care about them.”

 “This is a huge step for our little church,” said the Rev. Mary Gestrich. “We are actively seeking how God is calling us in this community at this time.  God’s purpose is to have an impact.”

 Mitchell added that beyond helping others, the garden has helped the congregation as well.

 “It’s brought unity and togetherness,” he said. “I think that happens when you have a good purpose.”

Reprinted with permission of Nancy Kennedyfloral city Community-Garden-banner croppedfloral city Garden-wide-0325Greenhouse,1_2_15, Roma Tomatoes

O.C. Cook is one of the volunteer gardeners. They start early in the morning before it gets hot, working in the rows and harvesting produce.

O.C. Cook is one of the volunteer gardeners. They start early in the morning before it gets hot, working in the rows and harvesting produce.

Patty McClendon shows Nina Tabbert something she found while trimming tomato plants in the community garden in Floral City.

Patty McClendon shows Nina Tabbert something she found while trimming tomato plants in the community garden in Floral City.

          

 


		
	
Posted in: News.
Last Modified: January 13, 2015