Gardens that cultivate community

April 19, 2009 at 8:15 pm 3 comments

Who says healthy local food is only accessible to the affluent? Yonat Shimron has an excellent feature in today’s Raleigh News and Observer about the proliferation of community gardens in the Triangle that entice all kinds of folks to grow food for themselves and for their neighbors. In each case, gardeners are discovering a new sense of community along with a home-grown diet that is good for the planet and their health.

Most of the community plots are associated with churches, Shimron reports. The most successful one was launched by Cedar Grove United Methodist Church in northern Orange County, as a way to heal the community after the murder of a local man in a nearby bait-and-tackle shop in 2005.

Anathoth Community Garden, now in its fourth season, sits on five acres and has about 75 member families, nearly half of them minorities. Last year they produced a ton of sweet potatoes, 800 pounds of Irish potatoes and an array of other fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers in a raised-bed garden and solar greenhouse.

This garden is a co-op; members pay $5 a year and must work at least two hours a week and they do not have to be church members. On Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the work day ends with a potluck supper in the church kitchen. Crops are divided among members with surplus food doanted to elderly families in the community.

The ministry intended to heal Cedar Grove is now spreading hope far beyond, writes Shimron. Eleven other churches from North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, recently attended a conference at Anathoth on starting community gardens.

A majority of the community gardens in the Triangle area are associated with the Methodist Church. Fuquay-Varina United Methodist Church, which has a 1/4 acre community garden, says the concept is really catching on and other churches are calling for advice on how to get started. The Apex United Methodist Church consecrated its 10,000 square-foot garden on Saturday Produce will be shared among members with surplus given to the Western Wake Crisis Ministry. The N.C. Conference of the United Methodis Church has appoointed a task-force on food.

To learn more, read the rest of the story.

Entry filed under: Sustainable Food.

Seeding change? No more excuses

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. No excuses « sustainable grub  |  May 10, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    […] 10, 2009 No more excuses for not eating local: Farmers’ Markets, CSA farms and community gardens abound. I just got my first box of unbelievable bounty from Edible Earthscapes CSA. Chatham […]

  • […] more about the community gardens cropping up in the Triangle area. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Gov. Perdue on […]

  • 3. Cultivating Community In GOD’s Garden  |  April 22, 2010 at 5:24 am

    […] local expressions of GOD’s kingdom of shalom. These farms and gardens can serve as places of spiritual renewal in congregations and communities that are struggling to remember what it means to be a missional, […]


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