Focus: Encourage and support people interested in starting community gardens to address issues of food insecurity in their communities.
Scope: Those in the Community Gardening Ministry Network work to facilitate, educate, and expand the practice of community gardens around Connecticut. This means they help spread awareness of the need and use of community gardens, will help facilitate start-ups, including visits to help them to evaluate the sunlight, soil, and nutrients at the site. They also provide education for how to establish a garden, how to move to organic farming, and will meet to discuss the particular problems or questions that face any particular community. The food generated from these gardens goes to shelters and kitchens that help feed people who would not usually get access to fresh, unprocessed food.
- No planned annual meetings, meetings can be convened as needed.
- This Ministry Network often leads a class and discussion during ECCT's Spring Training. Other events are often publicized through ECCT's emails.
Other Information: Community Gardening is a strong and hard working network that is willing and able to talk with anyone who is interested in community gardens but needs help establishing or envisioning the logistics.
ECCT parishes active: St. John's, Vernon; St. Mark's, New Canaan; Holy Advent, Clinton; Grace, Old Saybrook
Other Partners of this Ministry Network:
- Each garden coordinates with local non-profit community partners to harvest and deliver the food produced in their community garden.
- The Cornerstone Foundation in Rockville, which runs a soup kitchen 3x daily, is the recipient of all the produce grown by St. John's Vernon.
- In the last couple of years, The Food for All Garden in Clinton, CT, also has provided fresh produce to the Westbrook Food Pantry (nearest town to the east), and to the Madison Food Pantry (nearest neighbor to the west). They also have sent produce to the Community Dining Room in Branford, which provides meals every day of the week. Occasionally, their produce has gone to other meal sites, or to summer subsidized lunch programs for kids. In 5 seasons they have managed to grow and give 33,517 pounds of fresh organically grown food to these partners.