On December 8, at a kick-off workshop in Prescott, AZIPL announced the selection of the Center for Spiritual Living and St. Paul’s Anglican Church to participate in the Harvest of Care Gardens program, a new regional initiative of AZIPL as part of its targeted focus on food justice. The mission is to encourage more faith communities to build vegetable gardens on their property, provide a major portion of the harvest yield to those experiencing hunger, and to work on educational programming to connect the act of gardening to our spiritual stewardship call to care of the Earth. AZIPL is providing funding to the Center for Spiritual Living Prescott while the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Yavapai County is providing a grant to St. Paul’s through federal sources.
Patrick Grady, AZIPL’s regional coordinator for this initiative in Prescott, opened the program with a brief talk about the link between food and faith as well as a program overview. Rebecca Serratos and Mary Barnes spoke about the work of the Cooperative Extension Center and how their services could assist these congregations. Rebecca also announced the start of a new training module for all aspiring gardeners, “Seed to Supper” that will begin in January at their Yavapai County center. The 6-part series will be available to all; our new Harvest of Care Garden partners will be attending. Patrick closed the meeting with encouragement to find other local faith community partners who might be interested in joining this initiative for the 2020 growing season. More partners will enhance the viability of the network of faith-based gardens and provide support to its long-term sustainability. We wish our new partners best wishes on their gardening adventure.