EATON — Life Flowing Ministries in Eaton has started a community garden, with the intention of giving back to the community and providing food for all who need it.
Amanda Loranzan, Headship over the Ministry, answered her pastor’s call when he shared his vision for the garden. She was the one to start the garden and with help from the congregation has been tending to the crops and making the effort a true success.
According to Loranzan, they had a short trial run last year, but got the effort started too late in the season to fully begin. This is the first full year the ministry has had the community garden.
“Last year, the pastor announced to the church that he was given a vision for this church and the property over there to start a community garden,” she explained. “I’m not sure how much experience he had with a garden, and I do, so I volunteered. As time went on, things started working out and growing.
“Last year we got the property a little late, but this year we were able to plan accordingly. We got the property through the HIT Foundation, who were really excited about this and helped us with the price.”
She knew when creating the garden it would be an expensive venture, but the community rallied around the church to help. They got a good deal on the property, found someone to till the land cheaply, got donations from the congregation, and had other donations come in which helped to make the garden possible.
“I’ve had several people help me start it over there and it has completely taken off. We’ve run into a couple things, where we didn’t know what we were going to do and didn’t know how to solve the problem,” she said. “This has been a good faith builder for me. I knew how expensive it would be and I didn’t know if it would grow. Every single obstacle we have come across, the Lord has met it and then exceeded it every single time.
“It has been a great faith builder for us.”
In the garden there are: three rows of green beans (a box of which have already been harvested), two rows of cucumbers (70 have been harvested), four rows of tomatoes, and two rows of pepper plants.
“Once they are harvested, we take them to the Bistro at Eagles Point, the food pantry, and Food for Families. This is 100 percent free to the community and anybody in need. If somebody walks down the sidewalk and wants a tomato, they are welcome to take one. We planted specific vegetables so they would be ready to eat from the garden or easy to can. Anybody in need is welcome to these vegetables,” Loranzan said.
“It is not only these organizations. We are starting here before we expand. This is a way to provide for the community. I have enjoyed watching this garden grow. Not that I’m doubtful, but once I planted every seed, I prayed for it and every single week I go out there I’m so excited. That is my favorite part, watching it all grow and watching the Lord bring everything together.”
Co-pastor Tamara Webb added, “The main goal of the garden is to give back to the community. We’re in a time where everybody needs help somewhere. If it is just opening a garden for people in the neighborhood, then we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing.”
In the future, the ministry intends to grow this community garden. However, they cannot do this without resources, donations, and volunteers. From those interested helping out, contact Amanda Loranzan at 937-301-1406 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH