By Donna Olendorf
Director of Children & Youth Formation
There was a time, not so very long ago, when gardens were as common as smart phones are today, and almost everyone grew their own vegetables. Those days are gone, even here in Traverse City where many people are still farmers. For most of us, visiting the Sara Hardy Farmer’s Market or buying organic food is as close to farming as we get.
And that suits us, because buying local produce is healthy, fresh, and easy, especially at this time of year. But, for the homeless and the working poor in our community, getting fresh produce is more of a challenge. It is expensive, perishable, and often requires refrigeration. No wonder low-income families often turn to a diet low in fruits and vegetables, and high in empty calories.
While Grace Church cannot singlehandedly reverse a national trend, we can stock food pantries with local produce to support our patrons. And that’s what Connecting Soul and Soil has been doing for the past three years. Under the umbrella of the Jubilee Ministries, Art and Linda Schubert’s Jubilee Ministries Pantry Garden has augmented the Grace Food Pantry with fresh fruits and vegetables from their local farm.
Linda and Sue Lovell do most of the work with occasional help from friends. But their vision is for the garden to be tended by Grace members, and others, who will connect to local patrons with hands-on service while learning how to garden. Linda and Sue would like to provide three seasons of fresh, nutritious produce for the Grace Food Pantry. To help defray the garden expenses, the Schuberts reached out to the children of Grace: “Would you like to help feed the hungry?” they asked. Yes! The kids support was unanimous and enthusiastic and so, the children decided the best way to help was by contributing their weekly Church School offering to the Pantry Garden.
Over the past three years, that collection has grown to a sizeable sum and this Sunday, the Jubilee Garden will receive a generous gift of up to $900 from the children. The funds will be used to buy seed and fertilizer, rebuild raised beds, and help build a convertible greenhouse that will allow crops to grow for a longer season. To celebrate the event and introduce more families to the farm, there will be a Church School potluck in August. Learn where food comes from and help get more of it into the pantry. We hope to see you there.
Church School Picnic: Join us for a potluck at Art & Linda Schubert’s farm on August 6 from 4pm – 6pm.
- 4 -5 o’clock- the children will participate in garden tending, planting seeds, and harvesting produce.
- 5 o’clock- dinner is served, followed by horse rides, lawn games, and fun for the whole family.
- Look for a sign-up sheet in the Commons to rsvp and bring a dish to pass.
- Farm is located at 7535 East Fouch Rd., 49684.