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Grace Presbyterian to dedicate community garden

MADISON – With members’ dedication to increase outreach for others, Grace Presbyterian Church in Madison will dedicate their new community garden, Harvest of Grace, on Sept. 13 at approximately 11:45 a.m.

Members and guests will dismiss from the worship service and proceed to the large garden plot for Harvest of Grace, which is near the back patio of the building. The dedication also will be livestreamed at Facebook/Grace Presbyterian Church USA.

“The idea for the community garden stemmed from my own studies as a registered dietitian and the congregation’s desire to reach out to the community and share God’s grace,” church member Maggie White said.

“We had this lovely empty field, so we decided a garden would be an excellent way to be good stewards of the land, foster fellowship and provide for our brothers and sisters in need by growing nutritious foods to donate to food pantries, such as the Manna House and the CASA garden,” White said.

The garden is one component for the church’s initiative, “Grace Helping Madison.”

In early March, the garden team plowed the first phase of the garden. After busting the sod, they were happily surprised to find soil with tan loam consistency – not red clay.

Congregation members then spread lime and laid plastic on the ground to deter weeds. On May 23, a few ‘Grace-full gardeners’ gathered while observing social distancing to break the ground’s stubborn clods and planted Abelmoschus esculentus or Clemson Spineless okra, along with buckwheat to provide a mulch to cushion winter squashes and pumpkins.

In July, garden volunteers harvested the first yield of vegetables – about 29 pounds of okra that they donated to Manna House. Workers built a fence for the garden and mowed the buckwheat. Workers planted butternut squash for a crop in the fall. By the end of July, the garden boasted okra stalks with fresh yellow blooms and healthy baby watermelons on sprawling vines.

Rev. Robin Palmer is church pastor. Currently, Sunday School classes are virtual at 9:30 a.m. Sunday worship service at 11 a.m. is offered in person with masks required and livestreamed on Facebook/Grace Presbyterian Church USA.

Grace Presbyterian’s address is 5555 Wall Triana in Madison. For more information, call 256-722-0508, email pastor@gracepcusa.org or visit gracepcusa.org.

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