Posts Categorized: Community Gardens

Huerto-Garden de-of la-the Familia-Family

We have been honored to be able to support Huerto de la Familia through donations to the One Great Hour of Sharing. Huerto is a dynamic initiative which works in Oregon to expand opportunities and training in organic agriculture and business creation to families with the least access, but whom have great potential to benefit. Many of these families are Latino, thus the Spanish name. I learned a lot from these wonderful short videos Huerto created this year, and you may too.

The first film in a three-part series, Harvest of Pride: Cultivating Community features the stories of families, social workers and community practitioners. While news media continue to focus mostly on the “hunger problem”, the film points to the largely ignored epidemic of food insecurity among Latinos and immigrants.

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Empowerment Huerto de la Familia-style

woman farming
Huerto de la Familia (The Family Garden) is a partner organization that PHP supports. They do wonderful work to expand opportunities and training in organic agriculture and business creation to families with the least access, but whom have great potential to benefit. Huerto de la Familia is bringing life-changing opportunities to families in their community. Learn more about their mission, their work and how to support Huerto’s programs.

And watch their fabulous film series, “Harvest of Pride,” on their website!


A couple random items

1) Creative and waste-free ways to extend the life of your produce, in and out of the refrigerator

FRESH the Movie, in addition to being a great film (which you can borrow from PHP for showing) is a great resource for other things like extending the freshness of your produce!

Where you have strawberries, tomatoes or sweet corn, here are ways to store all those fruits and vegetables, especially if you’re trying to avoid using plastic bags, from the Berkeley Farmers Market. 

2) Hunger in Your County

And you can find out about hunger in your own county with this map from Feeding America which covers the entire country. I looked at the stats for the county where Louisville is located and was intrigued. The data is from 2010.

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Small Grants Program for PCUSA Churches Doing Community Food Initiatives

The Presbyterian Hunger Program is encouraged by the emergence of the many faith-based initiatives sprouting up around the country to bring resilience to our food system, and health to people and God’s Creation. These efforts often engage youth and multiple generations, result in greater food security, give people decision-making power over their food, increase healthy eating, create jobs and local economic growth, support local family farmers, use land ecologically, raise awareness about local and global hunger and poverty, and encourage a view of food as sacred and as a right for all people. When done well, such initiatives are wonderful ways to build relationships, community and power. We are eager to support this work as one small way we can help build God’s vision of a New Heaven and New Earth.

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Summer Internship Opportunity!

Here is the scoop, including why you might apply (or send this to a young adult that you love!)

Anathoth Community Garden is a church ministry positioned in the hub of the South’s “local, organic movement” and in proximity to Duke Divinity School. This nature and location provide apprentices with the unique opportunity to learn the fundamentals of regenerative agriculture and its place within the framework of Christian reconciliation and community development–not only in the garden and surrounding community, but also from leading practitioners and scholars! The program is designed as a curriculum-based, immersion experience for 3-4 college-age or older Christians interested in developing the horticultural and theological proficiency to lead related initiatives in their own communities.  

What to expect?

Our goal is to shower each apprentice with the encouragement and appropriate resources they need to grow and better minister to the communities of which they are a part.  In return, our hope is that the apprentices would help us do the work to sustain this ministry by working in the garden, loving our neighbors and helping us imagine how we might better minister to Northern Orange County. 

Download more details and the application forms

Please email further questions to or call Chas Edens at (336) 408-0968.

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Is your harvest ample enough for low income people, too?

logo from ample harvestI just read that poverty in the US is at the highest level on record. Results of the US Census tell us that 46.2 million people (15.1 percent) of the residents of this country were living in poverty in 2010. This means that many of our neighbors are forced to choose between paying rent or utilities and feeding their families. And we know that the cheapest calories tend to be the worst for our health, and we are seeing the dire effects of that! 

It doesn’t have to be that way, and strengthening local food economies in ways that reach low-income communities is an important step.

In this regard, I found this next fact surprising, and this reality is at the heart of the particular efforts of a group called

More than 40 million American grow fruit, herbs and vegetables in home gardens – and that number is increasing.

Often, there is a glorious surplus! enables people to help their neighbors in need by reaching into their backyards instead of (or as well as) their back pockets.

Learn how to connect this glorious surplus with food pantries that wish to distribute fresh, organic, local food!

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Blurring the Line

“I had grown two things, a cup of grass seed in kindergarten and kohlrabi in third grade, before I moved to Florida to join Nathan Ballentine with his business of helping people grow their own food and share it,” says Lindsay Popper, a graduate of Warren Wilson College along with Nathan who is building relationships and building gardens all over Tallahassee!


Nathan is one of the Presbyterian Hunger Program’s 16 Food Justice Fellows. While most the Food Justice Fellows are digging in the dirt, I’m guessing Nathan’s hands are stained brown.


Nathan has been food gardening since eight when his mother set him on a garden as a homeschooling project. He grew up in the PC(USA) and has been accused of being a “Presby-geek.” Currently, Nathan runs Tallahassee Food Gardens, his own business and social enterprise established “to encourage and assist folks to raise food for self and neighbor.”  They earn income by means of raised bed installs, planting fruit trees, and just recently, an affluent neighborhood has hired Nathan to facilitate their community garden development.  Having studied community organizing at Warren Wilson College, he spends 1-3 days a week supporting community gardens in neighborhoods, at food pantries, churches, and schools.  


Read Lindsay’s story about Nathan and what’s growing in Tallahassee — “Academics, work and service: Blurring the Lines

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Sharing God’s Bounty: Community gardens are part of a growing movement addressing the root causes of hunger

Check out the cover story from the latest issue of Presbyterians Today. Reporter Darrin Youker shows how churches are addressing hunger in their communities with church gardens. Sharing God’s Bounty – Presbyterians Today November 2010 Presbyterian congregations are in the garden for a lot of reasons. They are donating the harvest food pantrties or soup kitchens – which often don’t have fresh produce – as part of their local hunger ministry. Congregations are reconnecting with the land while tending to Creation, and gardening builds community and strengthens the congregation. Also, children love gardens! Sometimes the best way to get kids to eat veggies is to show them how a carrot grows, and churches are tapping into this phenomenon. The Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP) has a series of resources for adults and children called Just Eating: Practicing Our Faith at the Table that explores the relationship between the way we eat and the way we live. Youker’s article tells the story of four different Presbyterian churches (three of which PHP helped to start with the One Great Hour of Sharing offering), but we know that there are hundreds of other similar ministries across the country. Read the article and then let us know what your congregation is doing. Email or comment below. Read the full article at

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growing gardens and community in Harlem – ABC news

ABC News Video comes from City Farmer News (based in Vancouver, Canada) whose main web site Urban Agriculture Notes ( has hundreds of pages of information about city farming. Published since 1994, it was the first web site on the Internet to promote urban farming. City Farmer teaches people how to grow food in the city, compost their waste and take care of their home landscape in an environmentally responsible way. If you are lucky enough to get to Vancouver, you can visit the staff at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden, 2150 Maple Street, and see how they take care of the urban landscape. You can see their compost toilet, green roof, cob shed, organic food garden, permeable lane, natural lawn, waterwise garden, worm and backyard composter and more.

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doesn’t look like bread yet

Julian seems a bit dubious about the three pounds of Winter Wheat I handed him for this “candid” shot. By the way, we’ve been loving those smooze! fruit ices you see in his hand. The one Julian has is guava…

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