In 2015, I helped start a donation garden at our family church in Littleton, CO and three summers later, the garden is still growing strong. We donated over 400 pounds of organic vegetables in years one and two and hope to again this year. The primary benefactor of the produce we grow is Sheridan Food Pantry. Each Wednesday, we harvest, weigh and record the harvest before volunteers pick it up for delivery to the food pantry.
With eight raised beds, several community plots and 30 X 30 square feet of plot space to plant, the garden is fairly large. This year, my key partner in the project moved on to another area of ministry so I’ve been managing this project practically on my own. But despite her loss, I remain committed to the project and am excited for another banner year of harvests. Stepping Stones, a center for adults with special needs has reached out to volunteer in the garden — and their help has been great. My husband, boys and several friends have also chipped in to water and plant. Next season, I hope to recruit more volunteers and increase the engagement of the church community as a whole.
As with many gardens, some of the seeds planted did not come up and now that the spring crops have been harvested, there is abundant space for fall crops. This week, I worked to prep the available space and devoted several hours to planting carrots, beets, cabbage, broccoli, beans, peas, and more. The summer crops are producing well now and I’ve been harvesting summer squash, zucchini, squash, peppers, cucumbers, herbs and more. Green tomatoes are growing on the vine, little green pumpkins are hiding beneath large leaves, miniature beans are appearing and the beets and carrots are almost ready to pick.
When the seeds come up weeks after planting in the smooth turned soil, it always seems miraculous to me. Its always a joy when a thicket of green leafy vegetables emerges. The hard work has paid off and our garden is thriving!