From May through November, Doylestown United Methodist Church’s (DUMC) God’s Garden of Eatin’ provides a plethora of fresh vegetables, herbs and other crops to local food pantries.
It started in the spring of 2015 with the help of DUMC members. For the past eight years, it has produced 1,000 pounds of fresh produce annually for local food pantries.
The food pantries include Jesus Focus Ministry Food Pantry at Bethanna in Southampton, and the New Britain Food Pantry.
A wide range of organic produce grows in the garden, including tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, kale, onions and a variety of squashes. Among the usual crops grown in the garden, soybeans were recently introduced.
Barb Rocca, along with other members of the church, pioneered creation of the garden. Rocca says she felt God called her to start this project. Despite the fact that she considered herself a beginner gardener at the time, she answered His call and started creating God’s Garden of Eatin’ after the church gave her permission to do so.
“I, in no way, felt equipped to do this as a novice gardener,” Rocca says. “But when God calls, I try to listen.”
As of this season, the garden has already produced 900 pounds of crops. There are still two months left for the crops to continue to grow and be harvested, so it is very likely that God’s Garden of Eatin’ will surpass the amount of produce that is usually donated.
As part of DUMC’s core mission, it leads and supports several initiatives that serve the community, including The Vine, Divorce Care and Grief Share programs, and Community Connections, which provides direct and indirect support to charitable initiatives.
“I believe that any church is like an intersection where people’s faith and lives meet,” DUMC Senior Pastor Sunil Balasundaram said. “For DUMC, this results in God’s love being expressed through the abundance of crops he allows us to share with our community.”
From weeding the garden to delivering the vegetables to various organizations, many volunteers are involved in making sure this food gets into the hands of those in need.
For information on Doylestown United Methodist Church: https://www.doylestownumc.com.