Saturday, March 28, 2015

Volunteers Make A Great Difference At CSM

This Saturday we had four different groups come to the warehouse and help us with several different projects.  Altogether we had around 85 volunteers in the warehouse from Shades Mountain Baptist, Covenant Presbyterian and Samford University.  The Samford group was made up of young men that helped us replace an old door to our freezer area.  Because of their efforts, we will be able to retain the cold air that was previously escaping our freezer and costing more money to maintain.  

We also had a group of 40 students from the Shades Mountain Baptist youth ministry help us clean up the overgrowth behind one of our gardens.  Last growing season we were plagued with pests from that area and these students removed what was left of the overgrowth for us.  

Two Sunday School classes from Covenant Presbyterian helped us to prepare for our Mother's Day initiative as well as prepare our raised bed garden behind our warehouse for planting. It was an incredible day and much was accomplished thanks to these great groups. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Seven Community Gardens Growing More Than Just Vegetables

The Birmingham Sharing Gardens program was created to help our partners establish a garden in their neighborhood that could help care for the people they are serving in a greater way. These gardens provide additional food for their food ministries, are a destination for neighbors, church members, and volunteers to get to know each other, and are science laboratories for children involved in close-by schools and summer camps! 

This year church members, neighbors, volunteers, and summer camp students will plant, harvest, and eat the many vegetables that will be grown in these gardens. The vegetables will also supplement the established food ministries and will be shared with those being cared for by the churches and CSM. 

Volunteers from Hunter Street Baptist Church adding gravel
pathways at Greater Shiloh Baptist in West End

Grace Village Community garden in Fairfield was established four years ago and continues to be the benchmark for community involvement and vegetable production that we hope to see all of our gardens emulate. Neighbors come by every day during growing season to tend their garden boxes and  share in the work of the community boxes. They members host garden gatherings and enjoy spending time digging in the dirt with their friends. 

This year we added a new garden in Woodlawn that will be tended by a men's ministry and the produce will be used to care for their neighbors and provide food for the men as well. We converted 3 gardens in N Birmingham, West End, and Pratt City to become a neighborhood destination by adding gravel pathways, benches, and tables. We also increased their garden size so they can share more produce with their communities. And, at CSM, we added raised beds and a green house that will be the home of our Aquaponics operation. We are so excited to watch these gardens and communities grow!