Monday, September 28, 2009

Brighton church tends a garden to feed the hungry

From Michigan-

The summer harvest brought in by St. Paul's Episcopal Church in downtown Brighton goes well beyond picking cucumbers from the vine.

What started as an idea for a small garden in front of the church has turned into an incredibly successful organic garden. In one summer, the church garden, which sits on a 25-acre plot at the Emerich Retreat Center in Hamburg Township, harvested 1,700 pounds of produce for Gleaners Community Food Bank.

"One of the goals of the (Episcopal) Diocese of Michigan is to eradicate hunger and promote healthy eating," the Rev. Deon Johnson of St. Paul's Episcopal Church said. "Literally, I said, I want a small garden to start," he joked.

What was supposed to be a small garden is having a major impact on the community.

More than 70 volunteers have helped plant and pick produce at the farm. Businesses, local residents and parishioners have donated more than $5,000 to get the garden growing.

None have been more helpful than head volunteer gardener Joannee DeBruhl, who spearheaded the project and often spends entire days picking produce.

"She has executed a huge project this summer," said Michelle Ounanian, Livingston County Gleaners programs coordinator. "We're excited that someone was happy to start a brand-new garden with Gleaners in mind."

The rest is here-,0,2826341.story

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