Breaking Bread: Methodists and the community garden movement

June 10, 2009 at 9:33 pm 2 comments

I’m a fallen away Catholic who hasn’t been to church in years. But I believe in the power of community, and in the best churches, community thrives in many ways. Fred Bahnson from the Anathoth Community Garden at a small Methodist Church in Cedar Grove, N.C. (believed to be the first church community garden in the state) recently held a meeting with the Bishop, a former Special forces soldier-turned-food-activist, and about 14 farmers.  They discovered they had the potential, through the Methodist church, to spread community gardens all over so that sustainable food could be accessible to everyone. Imagine that.

Here’s an excerpt from Fred’s inspiring report; you can read more at Civil Eats.

“….Rev. Jeremy Troxler spoke next. Jeremy is a former tobacco farmer. Despite his awe-shucks demeanor he is an elegant spokesman for the agrarian way of life and is now director of the Thriving Rural Communities program at Duke Divinity School. “We need our parishioners to see that sustainable farming is not a liberal agenda,” he said. “In fact it’s really the way my grandfather lived. We need to use the deep wells of scripture to find ways to express that clearly to our congregations.”

Lunch that day was an all-local menu of onion and broccoli quiche, a salad of Jericho lettuce and sugar snap-peas, and fresh strawberries for dessert, all grown in the church’s community garden and on neighboring farms.

Before we ate Stan [the former soldier] said something that’s stayed with me. We had been talking about the recent groundswell of interest in agriculture among churches. Shaking his head slightly and speaking in a hushed, almost reverent tone Stan said, “There are 830 churches in the NC Methodist conference. Think if every one of those started a garden or produced their own food. Once they are in motion—that’s an unstoppable force.”

Heads around the table nodded in agreement. The bishop blessed the food. And then we feasted.”

Learn more about the community gardens cropping up in the Triangle area.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jesus and Food « Eating in Raleigh, NC  |  June 18, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    […] 19, 2009 · Leave a Comment In reading one of my favorite local blogs, Sustainable Grub, I came across an article about the amazing Cedar Grove United Methodist Church, Fred Bahnson and […]

  • […] a great article on Sustainable Grub, entitled Breaking Bread: Methodists and the Community Garden Movement. This article was written last year but is a good one to add to the list as we contemplate why […]


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