Parish resources for growing a community garden
Practical, hands-on actions are the best way for individuals and faith communities to put their faith into action, says the Michigan Catholic Rural Life Coalition (MCLRC). Here’s how they say to get involved and get growing.
Parish Farmer’s Market:
Encourage participation in local farmers markets. Better yet, use your own parking lot for markets. St. Elizabeth Church in Wyandotte, Michigan took this MCRLC suggestion to heart, and now hosts a vibrant activity that continues to build community after the final blessing! No longer a speedway to see who can leave to get home first, the parish parking lot provides several local farmers a venue for selling fresh produce. For more information on how this has benefited a parish community, contact Fr. Charles Morris at 734.284.7727.
Community Supported Agriculture:
A great and growing way to eat fresh, wholesome food while supporting local agriculture is the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement. Non-farm dwellers can become “members” of a farm by purchasing a “share” of the farms produce prior to planting season. As the harvest of fresh vegetables begins, members receive their share of the weekly crop. The farmer benefits from the economic certainty of membership agreements and the member benefits from access to fresh food and the security of knowing how the food was raised. By joining a CSA, your parish and/or parishioners support environmental stewardship while getting an abundance of great food. For more information, or to locate a CSA near you, check out www.localharvest.org
Support local and renewable sources of energy:
Find out about energy conservation and the call to environmental stewardship. The MCRLC is an active partner with Michigan Interfaith Power & Light. With a $100 membership, MIPL will conduct an energy audit of all your facilities, providing energy/cost saving methods and opportunities for your parish and parishioners. Help the environment while saving money!
This is a web-only article that accompanies Urban planting, which appeared in the October 2011 issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. 76, No. 10, pages 12-17).
Image: Oglia Bonfiglio