A couple of church members were visiting a friend in Belleville, Michigan, where they attended Mass at Trinity Episcopal. In the midst of Mass, the children in the pews were dismissed to the Heifer Garden. Our members asked what the Heifer Garden is. They were told that the children had a garden where they grew vegetables, and in turn sold them to the congregation for money. The money was then sent to Heifer International which invests in farms, especially women-led, small-scale farms, to raise up communities and increase sustainable incomes while at the same time protecting the land.
The children led us...
That blessing of children leading in Belleville was a mustard seed that sprouted in the fertile minds of people in the parish. The garden has always been thought of as an addition to our Food Pantry. Green beans. Green tomatoes. Red tomatoes. Mustard greens. Zucchini. Green peppers. Our community exists in a ‘food desert.' God's abundance grows there, too.
The garden at St. Augustine's has given grace to those who tend it, and to those who have eaten from its bounty. Our children have learned patience and entrepreneurship by selling the vegetables. The funds garnered first went to Heifer International, and finally to the children's idea of building tiny houses for those who are homeless. The children are still leading us.
We will always need people who are willing to work in the garden, people to tend the soil, planting what people will eat, watering in the heat of summer, gathering the harvest and providing it to the needy. Our slowing down is a form of prayer. Come join us!