Garden's cukes, carrots headed to food pantries
Local church stretches grant to grow food for those in need
Although rainy weather delayed planting for a week, Boulevard Presbyterian Church members hope the weather conditions for the next few months will lead to a bumper crop for the community garden located on the church's lawn.
"Last summer, the weather didn't cooperate, and we had a decent year, but didn't produce as much as we had hoped," said Amy Creighton, coordinator for the community garden project.
"We certainly hope for better weather this summer," she said.
The church started the community garden project in 2011 after receiving a $2,000 grant from the Friends of 43212.
"They were looking for a church or business interested in starting a community garden and we took the idea to the leaders on our session (church board) and they gave the go-ahead to apply for the grant," Creighton said.
That first year, the church grew more than 400 pounds of produce, she said.
"We'd like to get that much and more this year," Creighton said.
The grant was intended to fund the garden project for two years, but leftover money has allowed the project to continue this year, she said.
On Saturday, May 18, onions, cucumbers, carrots, beans, tomatoes and potatoes were planted in the six raised beds at the church.
"We decide what to plant largely based on what the pantries tell us they need and want," Creighton said.
The produce will be donated to Neighborhood Services Inc., the Near Northside Emergency Material Assistance Program food pantry and others, she said.
Volunteers from the church and the community are invited to help out with tending the garden on Wednesday evenings during the summer, Creighton said.
"We welcome anyone from the community and we hope our garden will help inspire other people to start their own garden," she said.
Various church members volunteer to perform tasks at the garden throughout the week, Creighton said.
One of the garden beds has been set aside for youngsters in Boulevard's Kids of the Kingdom children's club to plant and harvest, she said.