Food is God’s love made nutritious and delicious, given for the good of each other.
Increasing adequate and equitable access to healthy, nutritious food is one of the most fundamental ways we can serve our neighbors. In Kitsap County, 11.6% of all people and 17.4% of kids in 2017 experienced food insecurity. Also, 32.8% of people in Kitsap county have low access to grocery stores, making it that much harder to access fresh fruits and vegetables. By growing produce to give to others, we are breaking these barriers and changing these statistics.
We believe God calls us to take care of His creation, so we are dedicated to organic practices that conserve and restore the natural resources around us. We believe that growing food locally and organically is not only beneficial to those eating the food, but also to the greater community of rocks, trees, soil, and non-human animals that surround us.
Our faith is the inspiration for this entire ministry. Yes, of course you don’t have to be Christian to grow and give produce, but God’s love is the example and motivation for our mission to love our community (both human and non-human). By providing food for those who need it, we are given the opportunity to share our knowledge and love of the ultimate sustainer, our Lord and Savior.
Getting food from field to table is the most important religious act we perform. Every day, taking our sustenance from the earth and from the bodies of other animals, we enter deeply into the mystery of creation. Eating is practical theology, or it should be; daily it gives us the opportunity to honor God with our bodies. Our never-failing hunger is a steady reminder to acknowledge God as the Giver of every good gift.
The question that must be addressed is not how to care for the planet, but how to care for each of the planet’s millions of human and natural neighborhoods, each of its millions of small pieces and parcels of land, each one of which is in some precious way different from all the others.
At it’s best, eating is a sharing and welcoming movement that makes room for others… We don’t really understand food until we perceive, receive, and taste it in terms of its origin and end in God as the one who provides for, communes with, and ultimately reconciles creation. Food is God’s love made nutritious and delicious, given for the good of each other. The mundane act of eating is thus a daily invitation to move responsibly and gratefully within this given life. It is a summons to commune with the divine Life that is presupposed and made manifest in every bite.
Check back later once we have plants in the ground in order to see what we are growing!
We are still in the early stages of developing our garden and determining who will be receiving our food, but if you know of people in need, please reach out to us!
If you have not already signed up to be a part of our garden volunteer email group, please contact David and Stephanie Sweeney. We are just now starting to plan our first couple work parties to get our grass patch converted into a beautiful garden, so be watching your email inboxes for opportunities to get involved. We are also hoping to have some sort of calendar here with volunteer schedules and a method for signing up for tasks, so stay tuned for that as we continue to develop this webpage.
As we get our garden up and running, there are many items that we will need so that our volunteers have the proper tools for the many jobs involved in this ministry. Below is a list of items we would love donated, but please oh please don’t just use this as means to give us broken tools (i.e. trash). Storage space is limited, so we need to limit our storage space to just the essentials. Unless you are certain that your donation is needed and that it is in great working condition, please contact David or Stephanie Sweeney. You can always provide a financial donation directly to our garden through our church’s online giving platform, or making a check to Central Kitsap Presbyterian and specifying “garden” in the memo line.
Here are the items we need:
- Long handled, Round-nosed Shovels, for general turning soil and compost
- Steel, Level-head or Bow Rakes, for smoothing and grading soil, incorporating compost into the soil surface, and covering seeds
- Wheel-barrows, for moving soil/compost or if removing sod from the site
- Spading (Digging) Fork, for turning and aerating soil and compost, and digging for root crops
- Hand Shovels and Trowels, for weeding, cultivating and planting seedlings in prepared beds
- Short/D-handled, Square-nosed Digging Spade, for double-digging and sod removal
- Rectangular Digging Spade, for digging straight-edged holes (for trees or larger shrubs)
- Garden Hoes, for weeding, cultivating soil, and making furrows to plant seeds into
- Small Front-tine or larger, more powerful, Rear-tine Rotary Tillers, (depending on the size of the area to be tilled and the hardness of the soil) for initial preparation and aeration of beds, and working compost into soil
- Broadfork, for loosening and aerating soil with minimal structural disturbance to soil and soil organisms (sometimes used instead of the double-digging method)
- Mattock, used if the soil is very hard
- Sod Cutter, for removing sod (manual or motorized), but you can use shovels
- Loopers, for pruning small-diameter tree and shrub branches
- Swivel Saw, for pruning back shrubs and trees
- Gardening gloves
- 100+ ft. measuring tape
- Building tools and supplies if building a fence, tool box/shed, raised beds, signs or a bulletin board
- Irrigation system supplies: timer, hoses, drip line, filter, sprinklers, etc. depending on which type of irrigation system has been chosen.
- Garbage bag for litter
- String and stakes for delineating plots
If you are not able to volunteer with us or donate to our ministry, you can still be one of our ministry members by keeping us in your daily prayers. This garden will take a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to be successful, and we are always in need of prayer.
Specific prayer requests:
- Pray that the labor of our hands be done for the glory of God and the good of our community
- Pray that as we make big decisions in the early stages of this ministry that they would lead to the flourishing of this garden
- Pray for our ministry leaders as they stress over the small details in hopes of blessing our church and community
- Pray for those who are hungry and/or struggling to get food on their tables