1. Episcopal Church of the Advent in St. Louis, Missouri and their garden that provides fresh produce and money for Feed My People, an organization to feed the hungry of St. Louis and Jefferson County, Missouri.

    advent-episcopal.org

    Narrator: Don Hopkins, Advent member

    A parishioner volunteering for Feed My People, an organization feeding the hungry in St. Louis, Missouri, thought it would be a great idea to create a garden to provide fresh food for Feed My People.

    Our parish agreed, and on April 29, 2009, our garden ministry was born.

    We took a small section of our side yard, dug it up, and planted tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, peppers, and other assorted vegetables.

    This was a parish effort that even the children participated in.

    The first year we donated 340 pounds of fresh produce
    and $500 from the sale of the produce.

    In 2011, as part of an Eagle Scout Senior Project, raised bed
    gardens were added so that those no longer able to bend down still had the ability to participate.

    That year we also expanded our garden an additional 400 square feet.

    In 2012, a parishioner donated a timer so the garden could be watered automatically. In the hot midwest summer this helped our crop production.

    On Wednesday evenings, parishioners meet to weed and tend the garden. On Thursdays, crops are taken to Feed My People.

    Some produce is set aside for parishioners, SAJE ministry, and other groups that meet at Advent. For a small donation, they are welcome to take food. All proceeds are then given to Feed My People.

    In the fall, on our church workday, compost is laid down, the garden is tilled, fencing taken up, and tools stored to await the coming of spring, when we can gladly do it all over again.

    To date, Church of the Advent has donated 2,986 pounds of produce and $2107 to Feed My People.

    Although we each have our own favorite vegetable,
    all agree those given to the community are the best.

    Tending a garden is work, but when that work is distributed over a group that individual work is lessened and all reap the benefits.

    This is how our garden ministry helps our community.
    How does your group help your community?

    # vimeo.com/131221091 Uploaded 67 Plays 0 Comments
  2. trinity-stcharles.org/

    Thank you to faith food and farm network for allowing us to share the story of our community garden.

    My name is Elizabeth Bowen. I'm the retired deacon of Trinity Episcopal Church in St. Charles, Missouri.

    About five years ago we decided to put in a vegetable garden to help feed the hungry.

    Trinity Church is located on very large grounds so we decided to invite local churches to share this venture
    with others.

    As a result, we became the host church for a project of the St. Charles ministerial alliance.

    Some churches provided expertise in gardening, seedlings to plant, and people to tend the garden.

    Thus Trinity Church Community garden was born.

    This year our 1500 square foot garden is growing abundantly.

    We have planted tomatoes, potatoes, beans, okra, eggplant, kale, onions, cabbage, broccoli, zucchini, cucumber, and peppers.

    Unfortunately, we sometimes compete with the ground hogs, squirrels, rabbits, and even a fox who love to live among our beds and nibble at our produce.

    All the food harvested is donated to local food pantries.

    Their clients look forward to receiving the fresh vegetables.

    We also provide what is ripe to clients of Smart Choice food each month, and to share a meal ministry--a hot meal we cook on Saturdays to share with another local church.

    I like vegetables, but I've come to enjoy eggplant as there is so much you can do with it.

    I feel that Trinity Church provides a vital ministry in St. Charles by donating good, healthy vegetables to feed the hungry.

    We give thanks for the rain and sunshine that keep the garden growing, and for faithful workers who lovingly tend the garden.

    We have a particularly close association with St. John AME Church which has resulted in other social justice ministry, most recently in response to issues raised in Ferguson, in neighboring St. Louis County.

    If in sharing our community garden story Trinity should win the prize offered by Faith Food and Farm network, the money would go to expand the garden so that we could feed more people in the St. Charles community.

    # vimeo.com/133565766 Uploaded 35 Plays 0 Comments
  3. saint-stephens.info/

    I'm Leslie Scoopmire and I'm a seminarian in the Diocese of Missouri enrolled at Eden Theological Seminary.
    This last year I did an internship at the food pantry operated by St. Stephen's in Ferguson.

    The food pantry is a distinct mission of the parish for the last 25 years.
    This food pantry has served a vast majority of clients from within 5 miles or so of the church.
    Although clients do come from over 26 zip codes.

    We are open twice a week approximately 105 days a year.
    During those 8-9 days per month the food pantry supports the basic nutritional needs of 800-1000 people per month.

    Fresh produce is available seasonally, not only from raised beds on the church ground, but also from nearby Earth Dance Farms. The clients and I share a favorite vegetable--greens, which are incredibly popular when available.

    After the shooting of Mike Brown in August 2014, the food pantry received an outpouring of support from people throughout the region.

    From alumni of the local high school to members of the Diocese of Missouri.

    This ministry is transformational in a variety of ways, not the least of which is due to the fact that it is absolutely rooted in the community.

    Volunteers who keep St. Stephen's running come from nearby churches, homeschooling groups and Girl Scout troops, as well as from the parish.

    Partnering with the community in a ministry of presence and rootedness is at the heart of the missional ethos of St. Stephen's food pantry.

    Hi. My name is Tori Dahl, Episcopal Service Corps intern, working at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church,
    as well as at St. Stephen's partner organization, Earth Dance Farms.

    At St. Stephen's we strive to go beyond providing direct service.

    By partnering with organizations that are working for social change,
    through education and community building.

    This is why we partner with Earth Dance Organic Farms.

    As part of this partnership, I've had the privilege of donating some of my paid time
    at St. Stephen's to working for them as an extension of the ministry of the church.

    Earth Dance is founded on the principle of sustainably growing food, farmers, and community.
    They do this through a future farmer and gardener apprenticeship program as well as through many youth programs.

    St. Stephens, the food pantry, and Earth Dance partnership are transforming the community
    through a committment to providing fresh foods and educating the public about
    growing their own food and including vegetables and fruits in their diets.

    At St. Stephen's, it's transforming traditional visions of church by creating an understanding of religion
    that stands beyond the physical walls of the church,
    and instead connects the call for love and justice, to actions in the larger community and world.

    # vimeo.com/133572255 Uploaded 24 Plays 0 Comments
  4. I'm Leslie Scoopmire, a gardener at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion in University City, Missouri.
    This is the story of the partnership of Holy Communion and Trinity Episcopal Church in St. Louis, to feed the hungry.

    Since many urban neighborhoods lack sources of fresh produce, we started a small garden in a corner of the lawn.

    Soon it was replaced by two larger raised beds.

    We harvest 8-10 different crops each season and deliver them to Trinity's food pantry.

    We practice a dense planting system to maximize yield and we plant crops such as greens with a long growing season.

    For pest control, we depend upon resident ladybugs.

    We've planted marigolds and other flowers to attract pollinators.

    We use only organic soil and compost.

    Last year the garden provided over 300 pounds of fresh healthy produce
    to supplement the wonderful work at Trinity, which we are blessed to support.

    Trinity, in the Central West End of St. Louis has long hosted a food pantry three days a week and a

    Sunday afternoon meal that our parish volunteers at once a month.

    The fresh produce from the garden is put out on a table,
    individually bagged and washed, so that clients can help themselves.
    The mustard and turnip greens are big favorites.

    The volunteers at Trinity create bags tailored for the size of each client's family.

    180-200 families are served by the pantry each week and 75 people attend the Sunday hot meal.

    Trinity's recent renovation deliberately expanded the space for their food ministry
    including dining space.

    We believe our little garden is beautiful.
    We are all rooted in the land, even in an urban area.

    Our garden reminds us to take care of the land.
    And to take care of each other.

    Holy Communion and Trinity may be only 4 miles apart,
    but we are united in our mission to fight hunger in our part of the Diocese of Missouri.

    Holy Communion
    holycommunion.net/

    Trinity St. Louis
    trinityepiscopal.net/

    # vimeo.com/133587930 Uploaded 17 Plays 0 Comments
  5. The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Town & Country, Missouri.
    goodshepherdec.org/

    Good Shepherd in St. Louis, a small church with a lot of land asked a simple question, What is God calling us to do?

    The answer? Let's start a garden to feed the hungry. On March 22, 2014 we broke ground.

    We knew it wouldn't be easy. People told us first-year gardens are a big risk. Turns out we had great dirt! Next came a fence to keep out the deer. And plants of course. And barrels for rain water.

    Inch by inch, row by row, God sure made this garden grow!

    Our favorite vegetable is sugar snap peas.

    Harvesting was tons of fun and bunches of work.

    Transformation for us means deeper connections to other churches and community groups, deeper connections with one another and especially a closer connection to the land and all creation. (Yes, even this guy. VBS kids escorting caterpillars off the premesis.)

    Soon we were giving away our produce. Some went to food pantries, some went to our friends at the weekly Peace Meal.

    By the end of the first growing season we had harvested more than 2000 pounds and given it all away.

    We continue to give thanks for all that God has given us.

    The Lord God put him in a garden...

    # vimeo.com/133593503 Uploaded 22 Plays 0 Comments

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