When I met my husband, Ken, he was living with his grandparents and helping run a business that had become known as Scovill Brothers farm, a small farm that sold produce at a roadside stand near Lansing, Michigan. His love of gardening and home-grown vegetables never waned. Ken even planted some tomato plants in a small patch of dirt in front of the building where he worked in downtown Skokie.
For many years, Ken volunteered at Mobile Food Pantry of our church and witnessed first-hand the poor quality of the produce that was available from the food bank. Many hours were spent salvaging edible vegetables from those that were well past their prime.
|With some of God's Gardeners, Ken is pictured on the back row in green!|
Three years ago when Ken and I decided to rent a plot for ourselves in the Libertyville Community gardens, we saw an opportunity to solve help the problem of the rotten produce. We rented an extra 20 x 20 foot plot, and with a small but mighty crew of volunteers from First Pres endeavored to grow beans, onions, peppers and tomatoes for the guests of our Mobile Food Pantry. By late summer, we had two bushels of beautiful, fresh tomatoes that were shared with people in need. With that small gift a blessed partnership was born, and volunteers from First Presbyterian Church thereafter became known as God’s Gardeners.
God’s Gardeners and volunteers from other churches plant and nurture a 2 acre garden plot where we grow a variety of vegetables that can be harvested for distribution all season long. In 2015, we provided more than 500 pounds of fresh, locally grown, pesticide-free produce to guests of our Mobile Food Pantry. Today, with determination, faith in God, and some guidance from a certain guardian angel, we continue to be a blessing to those in need in our community.