The GCI congregation in Kalispell, Montana is sponsoring a community garden as an outreach project. Here is a report from Pastor Lloyd Barrie.
The community garden has been successful in many ways. In May, the congregation made the decision to put their vacant lot next to the church building to productive use. As is true in many states, budgets were cut and the local food bank’s needs were not met. While individual church members planted personal plots, the majority of the garden was devoted to supplying fresh produce to the food bank.
Montana has a short growing season, so black plastic was laid first. This not only controlled weeds, but also warmed the soil. The results were amazing – squash almost as large as one of the youngest church members! For the past month, bags of produce have been delivered to the food bank on a weekly basis. There will be more before the first frost.
In addition to helping the community, our garden has brought our members closer together. Even the younger children have been able to contribute and at the same time learn about growing food. We’ve all grown through this experience. Sundays, after services, we’ve donned gardening garb and worked and prayed together in Montana’s sunshine. Next year we hope to have an even larger garden and involve more members of the community.