Check out photos from the 2007 garden.
Compassion Garden presentation at Muncie Memorial May 2007.
This photo is of the Compassion Garden in early June, 2007 after we discovered landscapers placed clay on the Presbyterian side of the garden. The small cucumber plants on the right were planted in the clay soil.
This photo was taken in May, 2008 on the day the clay was dug out and replaced with topsoil from Gary Girton's farm. Many thanks to all those who helped with this year's garden.
This photo of the Compassion Garden was taken July 5, 2008. Cucumbers are currently being harvested.
The Compassion Garden celebrates its 7 year in 2008. This little urban garden has been a gift. It was inspired by an article in a Heifer International magazine about a rundown school yard in California that was transformed into a large, beautiful organic garden tended by the school children. Students planted and harvested vegetables, the cafeteria staff taught the students how to cook what they grew for school lunches, and excess produce was sold to an organic restaurant down the street. Everyone profited: the restaurant, the school, the children and the community.
Across the street from the Winchester Friends Meeting are two parking lots, one belongs to the Quakers, the other the Presbyterians. Between the two lots lay a narrow "no manís land" of soil, 6ft by 50 ft, that mostly produced weeds each summer. In 2002, with the Heifer story for inspiration, church leaders proposed planting a vegetable garden there, to be weeded and watered by youth from both churches. The produce grown would be divided between the two churches and sold to support a Compassion International child in Uganda.
Since then, each summer we harvest green peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes from plants interspersed with bright marigold flowers. Youth come by to weed and water whenever they have time. Adults support this project with donations of hoses, wire cages, and labor. And they give lavish prices for the vegetables. We collect enough money each summer to pay a yearís support of a Compassion Child. That speaks far more of the generosity of the adults buying the produce than it does of the amount of produce from the garden. Their acts of giving have been an encouragement to the youth.
We are learning important lessons from this garden. In a world where 24,000 people die each day of hunger, it doesnít make sense to let weeds grow where food can be produced. The food we grow wonít make its way to Africa, but it does provide good healthy nutrition for our community. From our financial abundance we can assist these youth to help one child out of poverty. This is good stewardship of land and labor, and a visible expression of Godís intentions for our earth. The garden teaches us that our physical work to nurture this soil in Winchester, Indiana, matters to a child in Uganda. Money helps, but how we live makes the real difference in our world.
The Compassion Garden builds community. People come together to work and watch the garden grow. Youth relate to adults as they sell produce. Their excitement is visible when they realize how generous people are to this project and how pleased people are with their efforts. Iím blessed by those who wave or honk as they drive by while Iím watering and weeding, or who patiently slow their car to allow me to pull the watering hose across the street. I appreciate the opportunity to greet my neighbors as they walk by and to hear their comments on the garden. The Compassion Garden produces vegetables, but I think we are really growing compassion. And everyone benefits: the neighborhood, the Quakers, the Presbyterians, the youth, and a young girl in Uganda.
|The Compassion Garden as it starts to grow.||Produce from the garden.|
|Compassion Child, Janet, from Uganda||First harvest July 17, 2006.|