It has been written that, “Perhaps one reason God created human beings to tend the garden is because God knew that it is in its midst that we connect most intimately to the character and ways of our Creator.”
With that said, while most theological discussions about creation and mankind lean toward larger ecological topics (i.e. pollution, preserving nature), one could argue that the next thing to godliness is gardening, especially when members of a church like those at Covenant Presbyterian Church share their harvest with the less fortunate through a Faith and Grace Garden that they share with their neighbors, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church.
What began 15 years ago as a tiny 10-by-10-foot garden has grown to a plot nearly an acre in size between the two churches. This year, by season’s end, church officials estimate that it will have yielded approximately 12,000 pounds of fresh produce (including potatoes, tomatoes, melons and squash) to be donated to the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) food pantry.
“We were looking to join with St. Timothy’s to work together, and since we shared land, we thought this was the best way,” says John Eft, a member of Covenant’s Garden Task Force who helps to oversee the Faith and Grace Garden and who for several years has volunteered at DMARC.
Next year, Eft says, the church plans to expand the garden to include a children’s section in hopes that church youth and those who attend its Head Start program will learn how grow their own vegetables to help feed those in need.
“They can plant and harvest and enjoy their own salad if they want to,” he says.
Plans are also underway for St. Timothy’s to plant several fruit and nut trees on their property. To help commemorate the garden’s expansion, a Trees Forever event is scheduled to be held Oct. 20 from 9 a.m. to noon. with St. Timothy’s. Sen. Tom Harkin has been invited to speak at the event, which is open to the public.
“Everyone agrees that the garden’s been a good thing so far,” Eft says.Covenant Presbyterian Church
1025 28th St.
Sunday worship hours
9 a.m. Nursery
9:15 a.m. Sunday School
10:30 a.m. Worship