Ann Arbor Garden Produces Food and Faith

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Cathy Green has done her share of gardening over the past several decades, but she hasn’t seen a plot of land as productive or as meaningful as the one that will grow in front of Ann Arbor (Mich.) Christian Reformed Church again this summer.

Volunteers from Ann Arbor CRC construct fencing to keep deer and other animals out of the church’s Faith and Food Garden.

Photo by Cathy Green

Kale, collard greens, peas, carrots, and butternut squash will be part of a harvest that last year sent 12,291 pounds (5,575 kilos) of produce to Food Gatherers, an agency that provides food to people in need from around the community.

“The rewarding part is knowing that you’re helping people, and you’re part of something bigger,” Green said.

This year’s growing season will be the second for Ann Arbor CRC, which uses 43 volunteers to work on the Faith and Food Garden. The garden originated in 2009 as a brainchild of church member Veena Kulkarni.

In all, 32 area churches, synagogues, and mosques will contribute food—valued at more than $40,000— since the Faith and Food Gardens project began in Ann Arbor in 2009.

Between April and October, church members donate a week’s time to dig, plant, weed, water, and harvest the garden.

So what was the biggest lesson Green learned last year?

“You have to have real faith in God that people will show up and do the work,” Green said. “God is in charge and God saw [that] every week was covered.

“But it was just a saving grace to have people step forward and help tend the garden.”

About the Author

Jeff Arnold is the Banner’s regional news correspondent for classes Kalamazoo and Lake Erie.

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