St. Christopher's Crops
St. Christopher’s Crops is now in its twelfth year of providing fresh vegetables to local food pantries. In 2007, as part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, The Rev. Stephen Fales challenged the congregation to take on a significant outreach project to give back to our community. The project selected was a feeding ministry called St. Christopher’s Crops. It is a large vegetable garden from which all produce is given to local food pantries.
The garden was first planted in the footprint where we would one day build our sanctuary. Rows of beans and tomatoes outlined where pews would sit and a large flower garden occupied the space where the altar would stand. At the end of the 2008 garden season, we broke ground for the new sanctuary and moved the garden to its current location to the east of the sanctuary and memorial garden.
Each year the garden team begins planning the garden during the winter, using feedback from the food pantries on how different vegetables were received by their clients. In April volunteers from the congregation and students at the Carmel United Methodist Preschool plant seeds indoors under grow lights to start the plants we will use in the garden. Early in May a workday is planned to prepare the beds for planting and mid-May we bless and plant the garden.
One of the wonderful things about the garden ministry is the wide diversity of people involved. Volunteers of all ages and all levels of gardening experience come together to share experience; learn from one another; and share a laugh or a concern in a beautiful, peaceful setting. We are growing a community as well as vegetables.