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Congregations Tend the Soil and the Soul with Vegetable Gardens

By: for Religion News Services on May 17, 2013
World News
Photo Credits: wayetlighting.wordpress.com
"The nutrition program serves at least 70, rising to 250 people in the summer when kids don’t have access to school lunch programs."
The Rev. Morris G. Henderson wasn’t sure what do with a vacant city block of land behind his 31st Street Baptist Church in Richmond, VA (USA). The church had purchased the plots, but didn’t have the funding to build a planned family life center.

Then, he had a vision.

“Why not build a garden and people can learn to be self-sufficient and we can grow food?” Henderson said.

With an 80-year-old congregant heading the project, the congregation planted its first garden in 2008: watermelons, tomatoes, okra, squash, strawberries and blueberries.

By the second year, even after the gardening chief had passed away, congregants were getting guidance from the Virginia Cooperative Extension; this year, the church has at least two dozen raised beds, with the bulk of the harvest used for the church’s Monday-Friday soup kitchen.

The nutrition program serves at least 70, rising to 250 people in the summer when kids don’t have access to school lunch programs, Henderson said. Extras are available for congregants, food program participants and the community, for a donation. A flower garden provides pollination for the plants and flowers for the sanctuary.

Read more: http://www.religionnews.com/2013/05/15/congregations-tend-the-soil-and-the-soul-with-vegetable-gardens/
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