Kingdom come is coming, in small yet invasive ways...

Follow along with us as each week we meet for service to those in our neighborhood, common meals, study of Jesus' teachings and how to live them, as well as Sabbath worship at the Buffalo Vineyard City Church .

Friday, July 29, 2011

"Community" Garden

El jardinero (the gardener) is what the neighbors around the church know me as, and working in the community garden has given me fun opportunities to begin building relationships with them.

The neighborhood kids that worked hard helping us create the garden are now enjoying the fruits of the harvest. I've gotten Hector (the young guy on the left) hooked on pesto, but only after double-dog daring him to try it for the first time! The little veggie stand we put out at weekly BBQ's offers neighbors healthy local food choices. A real need in a neighborhood where a good deal of grocery shopping takes place at corner stores - not usually known for having extensive produce sections.

Another real need in the neighborhood is jobs, and training in job skills for the youth. A dream of mine would be to employ a few neighborhood teens by helping them run a small farm stand, or microbusiness selling produce to local restaurants. Today we took a small step towards that goal, as teens employed by the city's summer youth employment program, most of them from refugee families, worked harvesting veggies and turning the compost pile.

The garden project is also adding a splash of beauty to the neighborhood. Kids in the after school program created a mural with the help of local mural artist, Cornelia Dohse-Peck. Then last week, a youth group from Rochester helped install a native-plant garden in front of the church building. Small things like this can send a powerful message about the value of our urban neighborhoods.

I still have a lot to understand about the real needs of our community, and even more to learn about what it takes to meet those needs. But it has been a blessing to see the garden project begin to bless others in the neighborhood.

May we all be blessed with a chance to grow relationships that cause us to grow.

1 comment:

  1. matt, i love seeing all the fun things you are up to! Your gardening seems amazingly fruitful in many ways and we are reminded to keep lifting you and your important work before the Lord.