In last week’s e-series, we shared how Christ Church, Millwood’s, food pantry started as a seed in a small closet of the parish office to a program with multiple branches extending into a summer feeding program and community garden. This week’s story shows how literal seeds have been planted to begin a new ministry with the help of a Mustard Seed Grant.

Emmanuel_Brook_Hill_Garden3

The Rev. Sara-Scott Wingo, Rector of Emmanuel, Brook Hill, conveys in the church’s monthly newsletter that she could tell many stories about their new community garden. She shared one touching story in particular:

One story is of children getting off the school bus on the last day of school and the first thing they do in their first moment of summer freedom is run over to Emmanuel to see if there are any ripe watermelons because a few weeks before they had helped plant them. They call excitedly through the fence to a woman tending to her plot, “Are the watermelons ready yet?” She calls back, “Not yet, but do you want to come and check on them?” “Yes,” they exclaim. “Well come on through the gate.” And the children do, knowing they belong on this common ground. Then they ask, “When will they grow?” “Oh, it will be a while, but why don’t you speak to the melons and tell them to grow?” the woman encourages. With that the children start chanting and calling to the melons, “Grow, grow, grow!”

Emmanuel, Brook Hill’s, Faith Garden became a reality after many years of discussion on how to develop the large, sprawling field next to their parish. In 2014, the vestry took action and planned a 55’ x 60’, 12-plot community garden to bring together the congregation, neighbors and community.

Emmanuel_Brook_Hill_Garden1

Emmanuel_Brook_Hill_Garden5

Since receiving funds from their Outreach Special Fund, a private donation and a 2015 Mustard Seed Grant of $2,585, they have tilled the ground, laid mulch and planted seeds. As written in the grant application, the local outreach project has four goals. The first goal is to provide parishioners, the community, surrounding neighbors and others interested the opportunity and location to raise their own food and food for others. The second is to promote a sense of community among those coming to Emmanuel, as well as to surrounding neighbors and local food pantry customers. The third is to give children and youth a unique outdoor setting in which to be involved. And the fourth is to encourage good health through learning to grow food.

Blessing%20garden

Blessing of the Garden, Summer 2015

Jonathan%20in%20garden

“Shared moments, shared ground, shared food, shared joy. I hope there will never be a time that I pass our abundant garden and do not think of God’s goodness and generosity. I hope we all find chances everyday to find joy in sharing what God gives us,” wrote the Rev. Sara-Scott Wingo.

FullSizeRender-2

“Now it is July and we are reaping the benefits of our labor. Two of Emmanuel’s plots are designated as a give-away garden and a children’s garden. Parishioners and neighbors tend the other ten. Ninety pounds of fresh vegetables have been donated to the county food pantry, LAMB’s Basket. We have also given to elderly neighbors and families with children,” Marilyn Malone, the Chair of the Outreach Commission, explained.

“The Field of Our Dreams Faith Garden is a thing of beauty and nourishment, bringing together people of all ages in a common space to grow food for ourselves and others.”

By: Ashley Cameron; Photos submitted by Emmanuel Church

Posted by Diocesan Communications

2 Comments

  1. Dawn Alexander-Devonish August 12, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Wow , that’s my garden, I see myself preparing the ground for this beautiful garden. I have gotten lots of produce from this garden and can’t wait for next years.
    Dawn Alexander-devonish

    Reply

  2. I was picking veggies tonight. The cherry tomatoes are really producing, while cucumbers are dying down now. It’s time to plant for the fall. Our neighbor who enjoys watching us tend the garden received a bag of cherry tomatoes and a couple squash tonight. 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s