Eden church starts community garden, inspired by Midland project of Growing Hope Globally

By Regina Holmes

The Growing Hope Globally project in northern Virginia includes five Church of the Brethren congregations that are working with the organization to grow crops on 10 acres of farm property in Midland, Va., and then donate the income from the sale of the crops to food security and hunger relief.

My late brother, Lorne, was the “hype man” credited by Growing Hope Globally for his role in starting the “Field of Boaz” project. But it takes work and enthusiasm from everyone to make such a project work and continue to be a blessing.

The first year, they exceeded their goal and raised over $13,000 to send to Guatemala Nebaj Quetzaltenago. In the second year it looks like a sixth and seventh church will be added to our cooperative and we hope to send our folks internationally to visit the project so they can bring home the story of Growing Hope Globally.

My dad’s church–Eden (N.C.) First Church of the Brethren–took a “seed” from my brother’s enthusiasm and started their own Community Garden of Eden on church property. My father, Herb Holmes, serves as coordinator of the project.

Photo by Regina Holmes

Please pray… For the Midland project of Growing Hope Globally and for the Community Garden of Eden, that both are successful in fighting hunger and reaching out to neighbors near and far.

The church sits in a triangular lot in an underprivileged section of town. This year they are growing the crops on their own to make sure they know what they’re doing and have what the community will need to be successful–water, security, access, tools, and good soil.

Photo by Regina Holmes

Fifteen people came out to help plant more than 200 vegetable and flower plants, and the garden was planted in less than an hour! But two weeks later, a tornado went through and threw the trellis into the trees and shredded many of the plants. My father was downhearted after a year of detailed planning and so many gracious volunteers and donations, but most especially because the community garden was in honor of his late son’s mission. I told my dad that God was just pruning the plants for a better harvest, to which he laughed and answered, “Who raised you?”

The community garden now has an abundance of squash and zucchini and the church is making meals with the crops, serving more than 100 meals when they open their doors to serve to the community dinners. They also deliver vegetable baskets to over 30 homes in the community, telling them the story of the growing Community Garden of Eden, and inviting them to the Community Meals and to worship with them.


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