The garden at St. Augustine is one that has given grace to those who tend it, and to those who have eaten from its bounty. Our Worship Center children have learned patience and entrepreneurship by selling the vegetables they grew to church members. The funds garnered became donations to Heifer International, and many other local charities. The children’s work in the garden, and with making donations to people in need, also led to their latest idea of building tiny houses in our community for those who are homeless. The children are still leading us. Our mustard seed is still producing and spreading.
A couple of church members were visiting a friend in Belleville, Michigan, where they attended 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 farmers, especially women-led small-scale farms, to raise up communities and increase sustainable incomes while at the same time protecting the land.
And, the children will lead us….
That blessing of children leading in Belleville was a mustard seed that joined the fertile minds of our parents at St. Augustine and our beloved priest at the time to enhance the spiritual education for the parish. The garden idea had always been thought of as a needed addition to our Food Pantry. Green beans. Green tomatoes. Red tomatoes. Mustard greens. Zucchini. Green peppers. Our community exists in a ‘food desert’. Our hope is that the vegetables we grow can be provided to those who have little money, who find their pantries lacking fresh foods, that they might find these items beneficial.
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. Those who do the garden work are not always praised by man but the grace surrounds them. Patience is learned by the young and old and God does smile. Come join us!