Yesterday’s Idaho Statesman carried an article about the Vineyard Boise’s garden that helps feed the needy. It is truly an awesome project. I am linking to it, but I know that this paper’s links become inactive rather quickly, so I am also pasting the article below for readers who may drop in a few days later.
Word has spread about this garden (last year’s garden produced over 20,000 lbs of fruits and vegetables) and last month the 700 Club sent out a film crew to do a segment on their show. The segment will air tomorrow (Monday). Check your local listings. I know that in the Boise area it is on the ABC Family channel at 8:00 am which would be 10:00 am Eastern, 9:00 am Central, and 7:00 am Pacific.
Anyway, the garden is such a wonderful ministry that I’m sharing with my blog readers. Maybe God will speak to someone out there about starting a garden in your area.
Idaho Statesman, August 02, 2008
Vineyard Boise’s garden raises food for the hungry
Vineyard Boise’s Garden O’ Feedin’ program has brought fresh vegetables to the tables of hundreds of local low-income families for 10 years.
The ministry also will serve as a nationwide example of a successful church-based community food pantry when the garden is featured Aug. 4 on the Christian Broadcast Network’s “The 700 Club.”
“This unique outreach caught our attention for bringing volunteers together for the purpose of helping to feed homeless and low-income families in the Boise area,” said Amanda Scott, “The 700 Club” research coordinator.
“We have seen many food outreaches, but this one had a unique way of producing the food to be donated. Our hope is that others will see what an effective outreach the Garden O’ Feedin’ is to the Boise community,” Scott said. “Hopefully it will inspire others to start a garden with their own church, or think of other ways to reach out to people in need.”
“The 700 Club,” hosted by Pat Robertson, is seen in about 97 percent of the television markets across the nation, reaching about a million viewers daily, representatives said.
“Week after week we were only able to give people canned goods, beans and rice. We thought we should be able to give them a healthier diet and teach them to garden so they could produce their own food,” Roberson said. “The garden has met and exceeded our original dream.”
Roberson, an advanced master gardner, hopes basic gardening classes and a 4-H Junior Master Gardener program will be added to the ministry next year.
The garden produced five beds of lettuce, tomatoes, peas, squash, peppers and green beans the first year.
Today, the garden covers about two-thirds of an acre, and it produced more than 20,700 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables last year, serving about 1,300 families. A wide variety of vegetables, berries, melons and herbs are grown.
Bill Meeker, director of Garden O’ Feedin’, expects the resource will yield 6 to 10 percent more produce this year. Requests for assistance have risen 25 to 35 percent over last year, he said.
“We are here for the community to supply fresh organic vegetables for people in need or for those who don’t have a place to grow them,” Meeker said. “We’re trying to get more people interested in helping other people. Our goal is for folks to give of themselves instead of just coming to church and going home.”
Although the garden produce is not “certified organic,” organic compost, fertilizer, seeds and gardening methods are used, Meeker said. He expects the garden will grow to about five acres.
“We want people to know the garden is here and anybody can come, participate and help out,” Roberson said. “The more people that know it’s here, the more publicity it gets, the easier it is to get donations and for people to find us and know if they need help, we are here.”
Story by Stephanie Eddy (Idaho Statesman): 208-377-6481
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’” (Matt. 25:34-40)