On Saturday, April 18, members of St. Timothy Lutheran Church planted the community garden for the coming season. The garden is located on the grounds of the church and was started in 2019 to help provide fresh vegetables to local area food banks and non-profits, including the Sumner County Food Bank and Grace Place Ministries.
This year, the garden is being to include two additional raised beds, as well as more varieties of vegetables. In addition to the crops planted last year (tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, cucumbers, yellow squash and zucchini), the garden this year includes also includes radishes, carrots and sweet peas and a variety of herbs.
St. Timothy is fortunate to have several Tennessee Master Gardeners in the congregation who generously offer their expertise in planning and managing the garden, along with many youth and adult workers who rotate the responsibility weekly for weeding, tending and harvesting the beds.
According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap 2019 Study, one in seven people (about 934,310 in total) in Tennessee experience food insecurity on a regular basis, with almost 300,000 of those being children.
“The community garden has really taken off, and the youth and adults in our congregation are enthusiastically volunteering their time and expertise to help our garden grow, both literally and figuratively,” says Pastor Lewis Groce, of St. Timothy Lutheran Church. “We love having a concrete way to contribute to our Sumner County community in need with nutritious, fresh produce.”
Ron Morgenstern, Sumner County Master Garden and St. Timothy congregation member, says “Things look a little different this year because of the Covid-19 virus. We are practicing social distancing in our garden as we work together to tend the garden, weed, water and harvest. We are hoping to harvest our first crops sometime around the middle of June.”
Pastor Groce will bless the garden in a special service as soon as the congregation begins meeting in person again, asking for a bountiful harvest and blessings on both the garden workers and those who will reap the benefits of their hard work.