The garden ministry is a Green Team initiative providing vegetables for area food pantries and community members here at Wesley and the greater Coles County region. If you are interested in adopting a garden box or volunteering at our Giving in-ground Garden, please contact Karen Clausing (email@example.com) /217-273-0597) or Robin Murray (firstname.lastname@example.org /217-549-0199).
In 2020, the church had a large unused area of lawn with a water hydrant…the perfect spot for a garden! Despite COVID, we started small with one 4’x8’ raised bed & two 4’ grow bags tended by the Green Team. While not wildly productive, it was a good learning experience. That fall, a scout with BSA Troop 141 expanded our garden for his Eagle Project. Alex’s design made our garden disability accessible with a wide paver path, two 2’x4’ waist high & eight 4’x4’ knee high raised beds situated on a weed barrier edged with brick. 2021 kicked off with a fun Earth Day event planting vegetables & flowers for pollinators in our greatly improved garden. Foraging deer enjoyed our efforts as much as we did so temporary fencing & a gate were welcome additions.
According to Dr. Michael Gillespie, EIU Sociology Professor, families with children in our county had a 22.4% poverty rate & 44.1% food insecurity rate in 2018 so our goals for 2022 expanded to include growing fresh, healthy vegetables for those in need. This spring we doubled the size of the garden & enclosed it with 7’ deer fencing. The raised beds are assigned, as before, to gardeners for their personal use; vegetables from in-ground rows will be donated to local food pantries. Networking with similar community projects & destinations for our produce as well as outreach on campus & to the community are ongoing. Volunteers with a variety of skills are always welcome … gardening, of course, but also networking, organizing educational activities, & distributing vegetables to name a few. Our garden continues to grow so join the fun, enjoy time outside in nature, get to know other gardeners, & put your faith to work helping our neighbors!