By Tory Odell
The Harvard Community Garden’s first year of success (2020) set a bar high for this season, but the garden continues to offer the community fresh vegetables and opportunities to work together. Pastor Joe Nehringing of the Trinity Lutheran Church predicts that the crop will grow well by October.
The lush greenery and colorful “fruits” quickly catch the eye of a man passing Harvall 426 north of Monroe. Just a year ago, well-maintained rows of vegetation were empty in the village.
When a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church donated his property to the church, Pastor Nehring quickly realized that it would be the perfect place to start a community garden – a place where they could both feed the community and work together.
As a child, Nehring often helped her grandmother Rena Tatum with her garden. Community Garden Benefits Later, during his seminary training, when he met Gateway Green, a community garden organization in St. Louis, MO.
Community members from all over Panhandle volunteer their time and experience to care for the garden, which has seen a lot of expansion in the second year.
“We are learning as we go. This year we have expanded the garden in the hope that we will be able to plant tomato seedlings among them this year, ”said Pastor Nehring with a warm smile. We also have a lot of people to help this year, so we are making new friends and the work is very fast.
Pastor Nehring added that he brings his own every year Trials and Blessings. Summer’s heavy rains reduced the need for watering for volunteers, giving them a better chance of growing weeds.
“Extremely tropical production has started in the first week of this year, but it has taken a heavy toll on the plants,” Nering said. But above all, God continues to bless the Harvard community garden. The gift was wonderful and we should not throw away the harvest. He always found a home. ”
Vegetable choices vary from week to week, although they typically include tomatoes, pumpkins, green beans, yellow pumpkins, zucchini, purple peas, pumpkins, and limited peppers.
The group expects to have a second green bean and okra crop to produce in the coming weeks. Spring planting began on August 18.
All produce grown in the community garden is free of chemicals and pesticides. They plan to plant flowers in the garden next year to help control pests.
Volunteers gather to gather vegetables at 6:00 pm on Wednesday nights. Community members are invited to pick up the fresh produce from 4 to 6 p.m., and Thursday afternoon on Harvel 124 Main Street, across from Harvel Post Office.
During the week, those who want vegetables are invited to come and choose carefully. The leftovers were donated to the Morrisonville-Palmer Food Warehouse and the Panhandle Food Warehouse in Raymond.
Nehring emphasized that the use of the garden was not limited to Harvel residents.
“There are some disagreements there. For example, we have heard people outside Harvey say that the garden is for Harvel only. So, we have slightly changed the name to Harvard Community Garden, ”Nehring explained. “No matter where you are, we want everyone to enjoy our product. The only thing better than fresh tomatoes on a bluetooth or hamburger is fresh tomatoes.
Nehring said another disagreement is that the product is only available to people who cannot afford fresh vegetables. He explained that when donating produce to the local food banks, the product is for everyone who wants to enjoy it. While donations are acceptable, Harvard Community Garden is free for everyone.
“It is difficult to predict that this year will be better than 2020,” Nering said. “No matter what, God will continue to bless the garden with fruit, and the team will enjoy working together and providing free fresh vegetables to Harvel and the surrounding area.