The Seed, is the beginning of our garden. It is our story, our start, to turn our grounds into a farm, our way to combat a serious challenge that faces many communities across the globe. We started this garden to reduce the number of people who suffer, as a result of living in a Food Desert. We pray for favorable weather, strength to continue our labors, community partnerships, volunteers, and contributions from our generous neighbors, that this idea formed around seeds will be nurtured and grow to not only provide our first harvest, but many bountiful ones for years to come.
First of all, many thanks to UTO for your generosity in providing St. Alban’s with funding for our Peace Garden. Because we did not receive the funding until too late this summer to hire a Garden Manager and plow and plant the garden on the scale in 2015, we will use the UTO funds to cover garden expenses in 2016. The Purpose of the St. Alban’s Peace Garden is two-fold:
- To raise vegetables on approximately 1/2 acre of church property all of which will be donated to food banks and homeless shelters in our community. Our area is one of the most severe food deserts in Indiana, especially for fresh produce. Yield from the Peace Garden is projected to be approximately 5,000 pounds.
- In 2014, Indianapolis’ per capita murder rate was higher than that of Chicago’s and we are on target for a record high number of murders in 2015. With this project, St. Alban’s and UTO will literally be on the street corner in the midst of this violence showing the community that God, through the body of Christ, offers the alternatives of peace and life. This project will bring divergent members of our community together to erect the crosses, participate in the memorial-ceremony, tend the farm, and distribute the harvest; as icons of peace and reconciliation.
What we have done in 2015 using other grant monies and donations:
- Cultivated a 50’x50′ in late May and planted watermelons and cantaloupes in early June. We did this to have a tangible beginning for this project in 2015 and to test the capacity of the soil. The fruit produced was distributed in September and early October to local homeless shelters.
- Designed & funded a sign for the Garden that reads: St. Alaban’s Peace Garden Swords into Plowshares (Micah 4:3). This sign is projected to be erected before Advent.
- Designed, constructed, and painted (6) 2’x2′ Religious Symbol plaques which we will erect around the professional sign when it is installed.
- Began construction and painting one 4′ white cross for every homicide victim in Indianapolis in 2015; the number is now over 120. These crosses will be placed in the garden as row markers and plant stakes.
- Plowed all of the area for the garden and sowed oats as a winter ground cover. Twenty-five people from St. Alban’s congregation and Grace and Mercy congregation. who shares our church home, did the sowing in October.
Use of the UTO funding will be used:
- April 2016 when we hire a full-time Garden Manager for the season.
- May 2016 when we will plow the garden again to prepare the soil for planting.
- May – June 2016 plant the garden with tools and other material funded by the UTO grant.
- June – October 2016 cultivate, harvest, and distribute all of the produce to homeless shelters and food backs in our area.
Again our sincere thanks for UTO’s generosity in providing funds for the project. We will report to you in 2016 of our progress in helping our community that you have made possible.
Want to contribute to our Project? Great! Thank You! Every little bit helps, and we greatly appreciate your generosity. Here is the link to do so: