In 2010, Prescott United Methodist Church decided to transform a fenced-in, vacant lot on church property into a unique extension of the UMC mission – growing fresh, healthy food to feed the less fortunate. All of the yield from Victory Garden is donated to the Coalition for Compassion and Justice to feed the homeless. In fact, in early August, 18 pounds of produce were delivered to CCJ!
In 2018, a new volunteer, Noel Franklin, is leading this garden venture, or maybe better termed, adventure. Hailing from Seattle, with experience from their community garden network, known as Pea Patch, she is organizing volunteers, the planting, and recently the harvesting of sprouting vegetables and legumes. Youth have helped with the seeding. Other volunteers have helped with the watering and seeding. There are now more than 50 types of flowers, fruits and vegetables!
Noel has also been serving as a volunteer Strategic Planning Consultant to our AZIPL Board member, Patrick Grady, with the Harvest of Care Garden initiative in Prescott. Harvest of Care has three goals: the development and operation of 5 vegetable/produce gardens in Phoenix and Prescott in partnership with congregations from the interfaith community; the development of an educational curriculum for children, youth and adults that makes the spiritual connection of working the garden to care for the Earth; and the provision of 50% of the Gardens’ fresh produce to the hungry within those communities. The AZIPL Food Justice team has recently submitted two grant proposals to seed this exciting initiative. Stay tuned for new developments this Fall!