As most of you know, the life blood of any non-profit is its donors. They are the ones who send the money, the people, the supplies and the prayers that enable us to do what we do. St. Vincent Mission has a 45 year history of amazing donors who have given of their time, talents and resources. This blog post is about one of them…well actually it is a community of them, Jacobs Outwood Lutheran Church in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania.
The fine folks at Jacob’s Outwood, collect seeds every year and their Pastor, Barry Spatz brings them to the Mission. The seeds are donated by their parishioners and the organizations that they are connected with, like Weaver’s Ace Hardware in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania.
This year just before his trip to Kentucky, Pastor Barry had a retina detach. It is apparently very painful and can take some time to repair itself so he called our Executive Director, Sister Kathleen to let her know he would not be making his annual spring trip but he would send the seeds in the mail. Imagine my surprise when eleven boxes of seeds showed up in our little post office. There were every kind of vegetable seed you could imagine from packets of radish seeds to five pound bags of Silver Queen corn and everything in between.
I sorted the seeds, saving all the organic and heirloom ones for the Grow Appalachia participants and gave five boxes of seeds to our second hand store. The Jacob’s Outwood seed donation is well known in our area and people had been calling to see if the “seed’s had come yet” for weeks.
April 26th we had our Spring Gathering and handed out peck baskets to our participants and let them fill them up with the donated seeds. It was like Christmas. One of our participants found a packet of Seed Savers Exchange Blue Jade corn that he had been trying to get for a while but they were always sold out. There were discussions on how to say “kohlrabi”, the best type of tomato, the pros and cons of tomato cages, a usual Grow Appalachia gathering-at least here at St Vincent’s. Everyone went home excited to get seeds in soil and Todd and I had the information we needed to order trellising, stakes, wire, fencing and hand tools. And we even found a guy who does the Florida Weave and is willing to demonstrate it. It was a great night and the best part is that there are still three boxes of seeds left for any late comers to the program. What a wonderful donation.
Another great donation that came due to an e-letter the Mission sends out monthly was from Fran Suzka of Alden, NY who sent some wonderful seeds from Pinetee Garden Seeds in New Gloucester, Maine and an amazing book, Garden Companions by Sally Jean Cunningham. I had only read the first couple chapters when I planted my cabbage broccoli bed at the Mission and now it is a cabbage/broccoli/onion/lettuce/radish bed. It rocks.
Anyway, I just wanted to mention some of the best donors in the world to a group who would understand and appreciate them. Thanks Fran, Barry, Weaver Hardware and the congregation of Jacob Outwood Lutheran Church. You are the best.