It is pretty amazing how a vision, a set of plans and a little hard labor can transform an empty plot of land into a spacious, welcoming patch of green growth. Shortly after the demolishing of an old building connected to the Gano Mission Center took place, assistant director Haley Jones began to dream about the possibilities the now vacant space could offer the community: a skate park? A summer-themed slip and slide on a large grassy area? It was only upon listening to a Sunday morning message about stewardship and resources, however, that Jones came to settle on the beautiful idea of a community garden.
In the past year and a half, reused wood and brick supplies, an application to join Urban Harvest, research about composting and raised beds, manual labor provided by spring break volunteer groups and our own community members alike, several seed and plant donations, a large compost pile, perseverance in the face of drought, and a lot of patient supervision have brought about a garden that is slowly but surely beginning to flourish. Fresh produce, including lettuce, okra, beans, carrots and basil, has already been successfully planted and harvested from the garden so far this year to be distributed to homeless, individual and family clients at Gano’s food pantry. Other plants and vegetables that are still on the way include bush beans, watermelon, squash, peas, peppers, chili peppers and more okra — as well as an avocado tree, graciously donated by some of the senior adults who come on site every week during Thursday’s morning meal and fellowship program. Another recent addition to the garden is a series of brightly colored car tires painted by some of the youth in our teen program who intend to transform the recycled objects into creative flower beds.
Jones’ ultimate hope is that community members will begin to participate in an Adopt-a-Plot program so that the garden can act as a source of both healthy, nutritious meal supplementation as well as a meeting place with one another and with our Creator God. She also has future plans to engage neighbors in the ongoing process of new life taking place in the garden by installing posts with painted verses from the Psalms throughout the green space; hopefully a small picnic bench (or two) will soon also grace the garden with a further air of hospitality and welcome.
Interested in participating in the community garden at Gano Mission Center? We are currently interested in receiving gifts of seeds, fertilizer, and practical gardening supplies as well as experienced gardening/composting assistance and knowledge. For more information or simply to set up a time to wander through the garden beds yourself, email us here.