Glory to God Garden (G3)

g3

 Garden Update: July 28, 2016

garden end of julyThe Glory of God Garden (affectionately known as G3), the food pantry garden in our back yard, continues to thrive thanks to abundant sunshine and a dedicated team of waterers. So far this growing season we have harvested 50 pounds of food from the garden including Swiss chard, lettuce, broccoli, herbs, and this week, our first cucumbers!

If you look in the garden now, you cannot help but notice the tomato plants that look like small trees. These are loaded with growing cherry tomato fruit. When ripe we will have both yellow and red cherry tomatoes in abundance! The beans, onions and beets are also growing well.

Most of the broccoli plants have completed their summer yields and have been removed. We are planning for plantings of butternut squash, spinach, cabbage, spaghetti squash and additional carrots for fall harvest.bunny nest

Several times this week we have startled a full grown bunny in the garden who then exited by squeezing
itself through the squares in the wire fence. We considered naming it Stephen, until we discovered “his” nest complete with two baby bunnies hidden under the parsley! Steve Ropski, our parish animal expert, thinks they will be old enough for the mother bunny to move them in 7-10 days, and so we will try not to disturb these cutest of God’s creatures and hope they do not eat too much before they move on.

We still welcome anyone who has a desire to help with the garden: new plantings, weeding, watering, harvesting, delivery to food pantries in Fairview and Girard. Simply talk to MJ Radock or Cindy Willis.

Garden Update: July 2016

Our garden has been a mixed producer so far. All of the starts that were planted are growing, but our seeds have not germinated well. We are not discouraged. There are other crops we can plant in those empty spaces that we hope will grow well and produce before the end of the growing season.The harvests so far have been broccoli, Swiss chard, and herbs. The Swiss chard and the herbs have been particularly good producers! The first planting of broccoli has yielded heads which were harvested and those plants are now working on some side shoot heads. The cherry tomatoes have many blossoms and a few tiny tomatoes, and the onions have really taken off.Are you interested in helping with the garden? We welcome additional gardeners to join in. Currently we have someone assigned to each day of the week for watering, and in some cases, people are sharing days so that each waters only every other week. We would like a few more of those. Watering is done in the evenings and takes about 30 minutes.

Delivery to the food pantries is another area where we could use some assistance. Currently we deliver to the Fairview and Girard Presbyterian Food Pantries – one delivery at the end of each week. Just contact MJ Radock or Cindy Willis.

In every gardener there is a child who believes in The Seed Fairy.~Robert Brault.  Come join us in the garden!

july garden

Calling All Gardeners!: July 1, 2016

G3 is growing fast, and we could use your green thumb!  Are you interested in helping with the garden? We need help watering which is done in the evenings and takes about 30 minutes. Delivery to the food pantries is another area where we could use some assistance. Currently we deliver to the Fairview and Girard Presbyterian Food Pantries – one delivery at the end of each week. Just contact MJ Radock or Cindy Willis. In every gardener there is a child who believes in The Seed Fairy.~Robert Brault.

St. Stephen’s Launches G3

Posted on April 11, 2016 by Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church launched the “Glory of God Garden” (more affectionately known as “G3”) on April 9th with the help of Boy Scout Troop 173. G3 will provide fresh vegetables grown on St. Stephen’s land to food insecure residents of Fairview Township. The Rev. Sabeth Fitzgibbons, priest in charge at St. Stephen’s said, “We are blessed to have five acres of land and it is good stewardship to use it to build the kingdom of God and serve our neighbors in need.”

This project was born out of extensive visioning completed by St. Stephen’s congregation over the past two and a half years. In September of 2013 St. Stephen’s held a congregational dreaming day to imagine together what God might be calling them to do in the community. One of the dreams put forth was the idea of using some of their land to plant a garden to provide produce for a food bank. The seed was planted but took a little while to sprout. In February of 2015 during their annual meeting the congregation identified reaching out to their neighbors as one of its core values. In May of 2015 at their “Next steps” Sunday a gathering of key vestry and other leaders, St. Stephen’s articulated a goal to actually plant a garden that produces fresh vegetables and other produce to help supply the Fairview food bank. Since May 2015 the garden project committee has been hard at work planning the building of the garden, the distribution of the produce, involving the whole congregation, developing a partnership with the Fairview food bank and the Fairview Presbyterian Church (where the food bank is housed) and securing funding. Cindy Willis, Chair of the garden committee and Senior Warden at St. Stephens, says, “We are so grateful to the Deacons of the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania and for their St. Stephen Outreach grant that made the Glory of God Garden possible.”

Fairview is often perceived as a wealthy suburb of Erie. And though there is plenty of wealth in Fairview there is also poverty, hunger and food insecurity. G3’s partnership with the Fairview food Bank and the Fairview Presbyterian Church to provide fresh produce to those most in need is an attempt to meet this local need. Fresh produce grown on St. Stephen’s land, by St. Stephen’s parishioners, Fairview Presbyterian volunteers and potentially Fairview Food bank recipients will be offered to participants of the Fairview food bank. Fairview food bank serves 60 to 80 families per month (around 240 people), 75% of whom are receiving public assistance. Of those served 10% are seniors and 38% are children under the age of 18. The provision of food, especially healthy fresh produce, is a critical need as Fairview only has emergency services for those in need (provided by Love Inc.) and there are no grocery stores (a challenge for those without vehicles).

St. Stephen’s is building a fenced garden with twelve 8 foot by 4 foot raised beds and will begin planting vegetables and other produce this May. They hope to provide enough produce to provide fresh healthy vegetables to many of the families receiving food assistance from the Fairview food bank. Once the garden is built and planted teams from St. Stephen’s and Fairview Presbyterian will be scheduled to water, weed, harvest and deliver the much needed food. Eventually they hope to incorporate those served by the Fairview food bank in the weeding, watering, harvesting schedule and to provide classes on prepping healthy meals using the produce provided. “Everyone is getting involved” said Julien Goulet, a garden committee member, “for example, Bill Rose who is in his 80’s and is a former carpenter, can’t help with the building but is providing technical expertise.”

They hope to not only serve God’s children and be transformed themselves in the process but to also to spread the gospel of care and love through one stomach at a time.

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