Monday, June 10, 2013

Community Garden

Recently, we had planting day for the community garden in South Kansas City.  Six months ago when I was asked to serve on the board of a local ministry, a community garden was not in the job description……a point I keep making to the group and I am sure they are tired of hearing.    Luckily, the garden has a fearless and passionate leader in Cama Suess (and her ever supportive and able husband Chuck) who pushed ahead and pulled me a long.  I am so glad she has done that…..

There are two aspects of a community garden.  The most apparent, it's a garden, a place to grow food to supply the need of those in need with healthy fresh produce.   It's an environment where we can do more than offer processed non-perishable food items.
A few years ago at the Cerner Conference there was a lot of buzz about “health and care” and the distinction between the two words.  We talk about solving the problems of healthcare thru better documentation, better technology, better process but a lot of solving the problems of our health system is by improving the health of the general public.   Often healthy living is reserved for those with means – it’s less expensive and easier to fill up a family on pizza rolls then it is to buy and prepare fresh food.   Food pantries are filled with the “helpers” (hamburger, tuna, chicken), canned meats & vegetables, and other processed non-perishable food items.   Not that they aren’t important but I keep thinking we can do better.

This garden will feed about 40+ families with fresh produce this summer.  It has corn, green beans, tomatoes, okra, squash, peppers, zucchini, and melons.  We plan to hand out recipes and cooking instructions with the produce.  
The second aspect is community.  This garden is about creating a sustainable renewable effort to provide an environment to serve others.  It’s a place to connect.  It’s a place where people can learn how to grow their own food while tending a garden.

On planting day, I gardened next to seasoned veterans who shared insights that you just don’t get on Pintrest. I shared a shovel with people who grew up in rural areas and have grown their own vedge for years.  I learned and so will others who work there this summer and in the future.

A garden has no boundaries, while we are a Christian ministry, this garden is a spot where people from any church, or any faith can come and serve the need of our community.  It’s about supporting a community of people – as my brother says “Being the change we want to see in the world starts with me”.
 I have launched a start-up with a zero dollar budget and had to be creative with this blog, twitter, and networking to get the word out, but I did it because it was the right thing to do patients.  It’s hard work.  As I thought about this garden – the expense, the work, the liability……the hard work…..I keep coming back to the same thought this is the right thing to do for our community.    That being said – we are getting creative to fund it and need your help. 

Please visit our Crowdfunding website and consider donating to the cause

If you are in Kansas City - Be a part of the effort - come out and grab a shovel – visit the as I AM ministries – Outreach facebook page to learn more or visit our website

Thank you!

If not you….then who…..if not now…..then when.

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