Spend Yourself® Gardens
Story of the Week
The 2015 gardening season has arrived! We began in February by placing seeds to be germinated in small cups under grow lights. Those seedlings are being planted! Basil, cabbage, eggplant, carrots, peppers and so much more will be harvested throughout the summer! Spinach and turnips are already being harvested from the fall 2014 planting season. Please be in prayer as we seek to grow God's kingdom and provide fresh produce for the tables of our Food Pantry clients.
About the Spend Yourself® GardensSince 2010, the Spend Yourself® Gardens have demonstrated to Food Pantry clients how to grow vegetables and have supplied vegetables and herbs to the Food Pantry. We added two gardens at the Falls Church Campus, one in the vacant lot by our 301 Building (301 Garden) and one near our Child Development Center (CDC Garden). Using 34 Earth Boxes, we planted, maintained and harvested vegetables and herbs in our 301 gardens, and the CDC staff, parents and children planted, maintained and harvested vegetable and herbs using 16 earth boxes in their CDC garden. Our youth have built ten additional 4’ by 4’ raised beds and one 4’ by 40’ raised bed for our Crossroads garden bringing the total to fifteen. We have also added an in-ground garden at our Crossroads location and a bean teepee at our CDC garden.
- 2013: 301 Gardens: leveled the ground and put down new ground cloth
- 2013: Crossroads Garden: built a shed for our Crossroads garden
- 2014: Crossroads Garden: built and installed shelves in our new shed, built an additional picnic table and cleaned out and waterproofed the underground shed
- 2015: Crossroads Garden: built fourteen cold frames for the 4” by 4’ raised beds
In 2015, there are various ways you can join us in helping us grow fresh, local produce to share with families who visit the Food Pantry:
Water, weed and harvest produce from one of three Spend Yourself ® Gardens for a week or more. To sign up for a week contact the Lay Leader below.
- DONATE LEFTOVER GARDEN ITEMS
Are you spring cleaning or downsizing? Our gardens can use your excess tools. To arrange for drop off contact the Lay Leader below.
- HOME GARDENS
Donate a portions of the produce from your home garden to the Food Pantry. Contact the Lay Leader below for convenient delivery options.
- PRODUCE INPUT
On Saturday mornings we need a team of volunteers to process produce delivered by Spend Yourself® and home gardeners for distribution to food pantry clients. Duties include receiving produce from gardeners, weighing and logging produce and packaging it for distribution by food pantry volunteers to clients. Contact lay Leader below.
- PRAY For our volunteers, clients and the gardens.
Classes take place the first Saturday of January through June
from 8:15-9:15 am at our Food Pantry locations. Directions
NEXT CLASS: TBD
In a cooperative effort with The Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Spend Yourself® Gardens offers free Nutrition classes and cooking demonstrations to teach Columbia's Food Pantry clients and the community how to eat better and use the vegetables and herbs provided through our ministry.
THE GARDENS' NUMBERS
Through December 31, 2014 we provided the Food Pantry with 1,635 pounds of produce from the pounds of produce from the following sources:
- Crossroads Spend Yourself® Garden
Pine Ridge Spend Yourself® Gardens
301 Spend Yourself® Gardens
Other Community Gardeners