Summer is always a bountiful season in First Pres’ Loaves & Fishes Children’s Garden. As the central focus of our summer Sunday school program, the garden teaches children about how food is grown, how to tend a garden, the fun of harvesting, and the rewards in sharing the bounty.
The dream of a children’s garden turned into reality in 2016 with 6 garden boxes built in a sunny spot of our parking lot. We quickly outgrew those garden boxes and were anxious to expand our garden ministry. So with the help of a church member seeking to earn his Eagle Scout designation, we expanded to two large raised garden beds and a side garden bed in the newly constructed playground area of the parking lot.
Children have had the opportunity to plant seeds and starts and watch “their” plants grow. They’ve watered and weeded, and watered and weeded some more to keep the garden healthy. They’ve learned how to harvest all sorts of produce and the satisfaction that comes from seeing the fruits (and produce) of your labors!
We have used the garden’s harvest to expand our fresh produce offerings during family night, we’ve given many pounds away to our local food pantry and other organizations that support our community, we’ve hosted our own farmer’s market on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings, and we’ve dabbled in canning and pickling. Our goal is to give away as much as we can, and only keep for ourselves what we need.