We’ve called ourselves “ECOS” for a long time, just a short little knick name. But our acronym seems to have taken on a lot of meaning since we ventured into our first attempt at community gardening last summer, and now this year being accepted into the Grow Appalachia family. As a congregation of the Episcopal Church, we are thrilled to be putting what God has given us to good use. We’ve adopted the tag line, “growing food, nourishing lives” because every year we find new and unique ways of reaching and helping people.
In 2009, an agreement was established between ECOS and Community Action Council to open a Migrant Head Start center on our property. Now the families who are with us seasonally will be able to participate in the development of our garden. We are also partnering with local food banks in Madison County to distribute the food that is grown to families in most need.
Our church sits on 11 acres of former farm land. Two barns still stand as a reminder of its past which we now are rediscovering. We almost bought a new shed to store our equipment for the garden. Then one of our members started cutting away the trees and weeds that enclosed what we call the old pig barn. With a little effort and a lot of heart, the pig barn is now ready to serve as “garden central” for our project. We are starting with 5,000 square feet and our goal is to grow a literal “TON” of food this season. We couldn’t be happier.
We’ve already met neighbors we haven’t met before and have had many from the community inquire about volunteering this year. We feel truly blessed, and we look forward to hearing stories from the network. We believe in creating spaces in which great things can happen… and we know this effort is going to be great! We look forward to joining the revolution, by finding our way back to our roots in agriculture through our Grow Appalachia experience!