Nothing says spring like planning a garden!

In recent years, several groups have developed vegetable gardens to help meet the needs of urban and suburban residents who have limited access to fresh produce and healthy food supplies. One such garden, South Hills Interfaith Ministries "Boaz Fields" project, was featured last fall in Grace Happens.

In 2013, the diocesan Social Justice and Outreach Committee (SJO) will offer a few small grants to support the efforts of creating and sustaining parish-based vegetable gardens. Depending on the location and circumstance, It is expected that such produce will be distributed through local food pantries or parish-based outreach efforts.

These grants are intended to support Episcopal parishes and organizations to create new vegetable gardens or to support an already functioning garden with small material needs such as: seed or plant purchases, fencing, bed construction, soil or fertilizer purchases, soil testing costs, hand tool purchases, water connections, rain barrels, etc. These grants are not intended to support an exclusive or private garden.

A helpful guide has been prepared for setting up a small garden and is available here. Should your garden be selected, implementation will be in late winter/early spring, 2013.

The maximum grant request for this program should be no more than $500. Funds are to be used in the calendar year 2013 unless an extension is submitted and approved by the SJO committee. Application forms with instructions are available here. Completed applications are due via mail postmarked or electronically by March 15, 2013.

For additional information, contact Pat Eagon (pkeagon@gmail.com) or Nancy Lapp (nlapp@pts.edu).

Photos courtesy South Hills Interfaith Ministries

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