For many years, the members of Faith, Mesick have collected food to support the local food pantry. In 2015, we had the idea to start a community garden to grow more food. There is a great need for that in this corner of Wexford County.
In 2016, thanks to grants, that idea expanded to include plots of land that community members could use to grow their own food. What could be a better use of some of the land Faith owned than feeding some of the hungry?
There were some challenges in 2016. The Department of Environmental Quality vetoed “Plan A” to expand the water system to cover more land. (“Plan B” did succeed.) Several people who were involved in the garden in 2015 had medical issues this year and couldn’t help, and the summer was unusually dry.
There also were some great rewards in 2016. The garden was planted in late May, even though Pastor Low was in the hospital getting a new hip. More than half the work of the year was done by community members. God sent such a yield (approximately 750 lbs.) that food was shared in three communities this year (Mesick, Buckley, and Pamona). Land that was used by community members probably produced another 250 lbs.
In addition to providing food, Faith also received significant local publicity. The local paper ran a story in the spring about the garden, and the local CBS affiliate had a piece on the garden in early July.
To date, no community member has started attending worship services because of the garden, but Faith has built a relationship with many. All the people of the Food Banks were very grateful. Also, during a mid-September harvest, a lady stopped by and asked if she could buy some green tomatoes for a recipe she had. She said we made her day as she was given some free of charge. Events like this mark the church as caring for the people in the community.
The Community Garden of Mesick has increased the food supply in this area. It has also shown people that God works through His church to show people He cares about their needs.
Pictures courtesy of Rev. Robert Low