College Avenue United Methodist Church has a Mission Garden that feeds the hungry in our community. This the second year for this beautiful, productive garden. Jim Kouns, a master gardener, oversees the operation with a lot of help from church members. In a garden there are many tasks to be done – planting, weeding, harvesting, and food delivery. Therefore there are tasks for many with different ability and interests. The garden started with a church sermon about feeding the hungry and has developed into a project embraced by the congregation.
Last year the garden produced about 1200 pounds of vegetables. This year the goal was 1500 pounds. As of last Saturday over 1600 pounds had been harvested. Since there are many more weeks to go in the growing season, it is likely over 2000 pounds will be easily reached. The harvested vegetables include tomatoes, lettuce, corn, peppers, carrots, beets, beans, onions, potatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, turnips – the things that make summer eating great in Indiana. It wonderful these fresh vegetables from the Mission Garden feed the hungry.
One of the reasons for increased productivity this year is the new irrigation system. Last year the volunteer gardeners had to carry water for irrigation. This year’s watering is done with a hose tapping into rain barrels with the help of a pump. The pump is powered by solar panels provided by a $2000 grant from the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana.
Wonder what happens to the fresh vegetables? They are sent to Covenant Partners Ministries pf Muncie and to the Soup Kitchen of Muncie. The food is distributed to the needy at Covenant Partners. The Soup Kitchen of Muncie uses most of the food to prepare meals for the hungry. Some of the great menu items that have come from the Mission Garden vegetables include Southern corn pudding, bread salad with tomatoes, beans cooked with potatoes, onions and carrots, sliced cucumbers and onions, and roasted tomatoes.