Back Food Connection Ministry produces crops for second year
July 6th, 2012
Tilled. Planted. Watered. Sprouting. The Food Connection Ministry's garden is in full bloom again for the second year, basing their work on Psalm 85:12 (HCSB): "The Lord will provide what is good, and our land will yield its crops."
The vision for this ministry was created and brought to fruition last year—largely due to the planning and framework initiated by Gerald Stow, Charles Mashburn, and a few others. In its inaugural season, approximately 25 members signed up and worked 20x20-foot plots.
This year, when the call went out for a new season of gardeners, the response was overwhelming. More than 50 people signed up and got to work in May to plant, nurture, and grow vegetables such as tomatoes, corn, okra, squash, cucumbers, peppers, peas, and more.
Since then, the Nurture Team and others have banded together to grow flowers for Blooming Blessings, a ministry that delivers fresh-cut bouquets to those who are sick and homebound. Plus, Kairos has committed to working some of the land to provide for those involved in its ministry and beyond.
This year, the garden area boasts a new shed and water pump, two items that were noticeably absent and needed last year. And talks are currently taking place to create an irrigation project that will benefit gardeners who are now hauling buckets of water to nourish their plants.
The entire project hasn't come without difficulty. The biggest threats to the crops have been local raccoons who've fed on the corn and scorching temperatures reaching the 100-degree range. But that hasn't deterred gardeners from cultivating their produce and passing on the results.
Widows, the Tennessee Baptist Children's Home, Set Free Nashville, World Relief Nashville, unconnected neighbors, families in need, and others have all been the recipients of the bounty the garden plots have yielded. Some gardeners have even gotten creative in distribution—handing out Bible verses with their crops and canning this season's growth before passing it on.
Gardener Jim Perley said, "I've been giving most of my canned goods to the Baptist Children's Home. Allen and Martha Boland have been the recipients of my salsas, spaghetti sauces, jams, jellies, and apple butter. They've been distributing these goods to the other cottages as well."
Becky Gross, Community Missions Minister, who's helping to head up the ministry, said, "Seeing the growth of this ministry over the past years has been amazing. Our members really latched on to this concept and have poured themselves into helping others. This year, we hope this ministry will be an even bigger blessing."