March 17, 2019

“Who plants the seed beneath the sodand waits to see believes in God.”

This cross stitch hung in my parents’  laundry room  for decades.  It now hangs in mine.  I immediately thought of this sweet sentiment when Fr. Bill shared his idea for a community garden.

As he stepped through the concept—creating raised beds in which volunteer gardeners grow vegetables to feed the poor—my mind raced to what all we’ll need to succeed:  sunshine, good soil, plenty of water, heat (but not too much)  and faith.  We need faith that when we plant the seed beneath the sod, it will grow.

And that faith comes from the people of the Cathedral parish. 

We need to gather two groups of people—the committee and the  gardeners.  Let’s talk about the committee today:

The Promised Land Committee will have the honor and joy of creating this      ministry from the ground up.  (If I were Fr. Ryan, here’s where I’d pause and laugh at my own little joke.  Garden  ministry. Ground up.  He-he.)  This will be a very rewarding project for all     involved.

The committee will establish all of the systems, policies and procedures needed to make this project successful. They’ll create the infrastructure in which our Promised Land outreach can thrive.

So that means we need folks who can help with:

Designing the site. We want the gardens to be functional and look neat and orderly.

Assembling, placing and filling the beds.   At the recommendation of the University of Illinois Extension Service experts, we will buy these pre-made kits from Home Depot.  The kits are easy-to-assemble, nice looking and affordable. 

Assuring the gardeners have all that they need to succeed.  We’ll need folks on the committee who can help establish the rules and set up   procedures.  We’ll also have to make plans for equipment, storage and trash.

Planning Planting Day.  We have tentatively planned May 18 for Planting Day.  We’ll need someone on the committee take the lead in making this day a fun and productive way to build the Promised Land community.

Outreach to the Food Recipients.  When the fresh produce is harvested, we want to quickly get it in the hands of those who can use the food.  We need committee folks to reach out to the food banks, soup kitchens and other social service groups in the area to determine what they need. The hope is we’ll generate a calendar that indicated who can use what kinds of produce each day.

If this service project appeals to you,  please call or email me so we can talk about it.  My contact info is below.  Our first  committee meeting is planned for Wednesday, March 27 at 7:00 pm in the Commons.  All are welcome!

And don’t feel you have to have a green thumb to be a part of this adventure.    Experienced or not, we are all going to learn so much together, and we’ll have Master Gardeners from the Extension  Service along to help us out.

Next week, we’ll talk about how you can adopt-a-bed for the season.  We are looking for families and individuals willing to take on a garden.  Please start thinking about how you could make a difference here.  Promised Land is a great outreach.  You work on your own schedule.  Kids can do it too.  It’s outside in the sunshine. It’s a wonderful science lesson. And most of all, your harvest feeds those in need. 





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