This month we have seen a bounty of tomatoes in our garden. We have canned salsa, beets, pickled corn, made zucchini bread and other wonderful food. Our fundraiser and mission speaker has been taking our canned items on the road and has sold them to our donors and volunteers that she visits. We have also had success selling at the farmers market.
We have been excited to see what our families have accomplished. Here are a few of our participants who have thrived this year.
Terry, one of our gardeners who participates in the program, has a beautiful garden. She has at least 4 separate plots that she tends to. She is adventurous in her gardening, trying new things and news ways of growing. She also has beautiful chickens and ducks. When I visited her, I could tell buy the way she spoke of her garden and showed us around that it was a passion of hers. She grows for about 11 people total. Her grandchildren enjoy coming to visit her and see what is growing in her garden. She plants pumpkins for them so that they can each have one around Halloween. She loves her family and loves being able to provide fresh food for them that she has planted and grown.
Clarence and Debbie
Clarence is another one of our garden growing friends. He is 78 years old and grows a small garden in his front yard. He stops by the mission often with his caretaker and friend Debbie who is also a gardener. Debbie helps Clarence in his garden and is a wonder friend and encourager to him. Up until a few years ago, Clarence would ride his bike every day. He is getting a bit older and does not ride on the roads now, but he still works in his garden and is as energetic as ever. We love when we get to see him and hear some of his stories and adventures.
The Shepherd Family
Another wonderful family of gardeners is the Shepherd family. Mrs. Shepherd father is a wealth of knowledge about all things gardening. He has been teaching his family and sharing his knowledge with his grand children as well. The family works in the garden together, they learn from each other and enjoy each other’s company. Mrs. Shepherd’s son is an intern at St. Vincent Mission. He has been working in our garden program for a few months now but soon he will go back to school. He is a senior and a wonderful young man with great potential. Mrs. Shepherd has been sharing her knowledge with us as well. She has offered us advice for the garden program and is a wonderful part of our gardening family.
Blessed and Grateful
This year, we have been so blessed to have so many people supporting and volunteering in our garden program. Spouses of employees have been ever faithful to help revitalize our soil, fixed broken down equipment, make deliveries and provide overall support to us. Volunteers have tilled gardens for families in our community who are participating in our garden program and worked on mission property to make it a success.
Other non-profits like Red Bird have shared their wisdom and knowledge with us. The Floyd County extension office has faithfully taught classes for us for years. Lori at the Johnson County extension office has been a true help and support for our garden program coordinator.
Interns at St. Vincent Mission like Bryson, have worked very hard to make sure our mission garden flourishes. Employees who work in other programs have stepped up to help in times of need. Program participants have shared their wisdom and knowledge with us and other participants. We are grateful to the community of people who have come together to help in so many different ways. We look forward to our continued work with our wonderful families both learning and growing together.