The mission of the Community Garden is the broadening and deepening of community engagement between members of the cooperating institutions. Cultural sharing is everyone’s responsibility and opportunity because everyone has something of value to bring. The soil, the fence, the seeds, the water–all these are tools not only for growing food, but also for growing friendships.
St. John’s Community Garden began to form in 2015 with the the above mission statement and was followed by the first garden plantings in 2016. What started as a coalition between St. John’s Episcopal Church, Higher Ground Church of God in Christ, Peace United Church of Christ, African Women’s Alliance and the Coalition for Homeless Men has evolved into a collaborative effort between St. John’s and the Saint Cloud African Women’s Alliance.
The garden consists of 15 plots measuring 10 x 15′, a shed of tools to share*, 3 composters, and programmed watering. The cost is $20 per plot and many years we split a plot for gardeners to share. Each gardener is responsible for planting, weeding, harvesting, and cleaning up their own plot. Our garden is totally organic and each year we plant flowers to encourage pollinators. Any harvest excess is encourage to be shared so it is not unusual to see fresh produce in the Parish Hall in late summer.
Many of the gardeners have been with us the beginning and it is heartwarming to see their friendly faces each Spring. This year we have a waiting list for gardeners! Now for some warmer weather!
*Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the shed will not be accessible and tools will not be shared. Should our situation stabilize and it is safe to share tools, we will resume that practice.