Community Garden

Northern Berks Community Garden

The Northern Berks Community Garden is a community ministry established in spring of 2014. Our intent is to provide fresh produce, without cost, through the local food pantry system to individuals and families in the community who are in need of assistance.

2017 Season #4 

Let it grow!   Let it grow!

Come and check out the cabbage plants, onions, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, squash and peppers that are growing in the Garden.
We hope to start harvesting by the end of June.

The Garden continues to need new volunteers.   We will be working in the garden on Monday & Thursday nights at 6 pm.

Lori will continue to send out notices via email/phone each week and announcements will continue to be made in Church.
We will continue to add a weekly post to Zion’s Facebook page confirming our work nights and any additional work nights that are needed as we start to harvest our crops.

To receive notifications of our Garden schedule updates, please contact Lori at 610–401-1186 to be put on our phone/email list, or email us at communitygarden@zionslutheran.org.   You can also check the Zion’s Facebook page for volunteer/weather updates.

We look forward to seeing you at the Garden!

 

2016 Year in Review:

Garden News –  Hoe hoe hoe! 

First of all, a huge thank you to everyone for all of the support during our 3rd Garden season.   Thanks to our volunteers, and to our supporters, who continue to donate funds and supplies, encourage our efforts, and pray for our ministry.

We set a new record with 8,224 pounds of produce grown in the Garden this season to those in need in our community.    This season, produce was donated to the Northern Berks Food Pantry, Schuylkill Valley Food Pantry, Keystone Military Pantry, Hamburg Salvation Army, Friend Inc. Kutztown, Wyndcliffe Apartments and Franklin and Noble Manor residents.

Produce was also donated for this summer’s Opportunity House meals prepared by Zion’s members.  In addition, we were able to purchase and donate 6 bushels of apples to the Northern Berks Food Pantry.   Wow!

Thanks again to all our volunteers and supporters.

 

2016 Season #3 

We are happy to announce the start of our third Garden season.   The soil has been tilled, the plastic mulch has been laid, the fence is up, and the onion sets and lettuce have been planted.   And by the time you receive the May newsletter, we hope to have straw laid and our cabbage planted.

Having a ton of fun!

We have officially passed the one ton mark.   As of mid-July, we have donated 2,135 pounds of produce to local food pantries and organizations that provide for the needy members of our area.   Our first crop of lettuce is finished, and the cabbage, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, onions, beans, and peppers are being picked.  We have been blessed with some good rains, and the plants are looking better than ever!

Come out on a Tuesday morning at 8 am or a Thursday night at 6 pm. Stop to take a look at the Garden, stop to share some fellowship with our Garden volunteers, or stop and put on some gloves and help us harvest vegetables or plant the next group of crops.   If you have extra produce to donate from your home garden, please drop it off at the Garden on a Tuesday morning or on a Thursday.   It can be left in the shade on the picnic table near our shed.  Drivers continue to be needed for deliveries, usually on a Tuesday or Friday morning.

To receive phone/email notifications of our work day schedules, or weather cancellations, please contact Lori at 610-401-1186 or email us at communitygarden@zionslutheran.org and we’ll gladly put you on our volunteer list.

Your prayers and support are appreciated!

 

2015 Year in Review

First of all, we’d like to thank everyone for all of the support during our 2nd Garden season. Thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers, who came out every week, or even twice a week, to lovingly tend our plants and harvest our produce. And thank you to our supporters, who donated funds and supplies, encouraged our work, and prayed for our ministry.

Our Monday and Thursday work days were not only a time of planting, watering, staking, and harvesting, but a time of fellowship for those involved. Garden tips are given, family news is shared, and fun is had by all that come to share their gifts.

 

 

Garden

 

 

We ended season #2 with a total of 8086 pounds of produce donated to local food pantries: 5858 harvested pounds, 593 additional pounds donated to the Garden for distribution, and another 1635 pounds purchased from a local produce auction to add to our harvest. This is 2328 pounds more than last year’s produce donations to those in need in the Northern Berks community.

This season we have been pleased to expand our local deliveries through the Keystone Military Families Pantry, Shoemakersville, and the Salvation Army of Hamburg. This has helped us reach an increasing number of thankful Berks County individuals and families. Our outreach efforts have also encouraged community members to drop off extra produce from their gardens on our weekly work days. We were also able to coordinate use of some produce for several monthly Opportunity House meals this summer.

 

 

Veggies

 

 

Through generous memorial fund donations as well as other financial support, we were able to purchase and erect a shed. In July, the shed was dedicated in memory of Donald Smith and Mark Epting. The shed is already full of tools and equipment, much of it donated or obtained at greatly reduced cost.

We have started to compile recipes for distribution with our produce. Volumes 1 and 2 can be found on the church website. We welcome any recipes that use produce grown in our Garden.

We are pleased to report that the NBCG continues to be self-sustaining, with no funds used from Zion’s operating budget. We were fortunate to receive a grant from the Synod Witness and Service Team and were able to make use of Thrivent Financial action grants. Our spring plant sale was well received by the congregation. A budget of $2500 has been set for 2016, as we look forward to our 3rd season. We invite and encourage your support and prayers as we continue this ministry. Volunteers and new committee members are needed.

 

 

Onion & beet

 

 

We have felt God’s amazing presence alive in this ministry and look forward to another successful year as we work to help
the less fortunate in our community feel the love of Christ and share in the blessings of Zion’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.

To be a volunteer for the Northern Berks Community Garden, contact the church office for more information:
Telephone (610) 562-3112,

or Email the Northern Berks Community Garden at communitygarden@zionslutheran.org

Click here “Northern Berks Community Garden”  for our brochure.