Home Grown for the Hungry

Things are moving fast at the Home Grown Garden. Volunteers have planted 60 tomato plants, 300 sweet potato slips, bell pepper, eggplant, and basil plants and corn, beans, and squash seeds. Our first produce donations of lettuce, mixed greens, and snow peas were made this past week to Manna and Beloved House. We are very grateful to Carolinas Irrigation Association who will be installing a pro bono irrigation system for us this week. The new system will eliminate our need to carry buckets of water from the creek that flows below the Garden.

There are still many seeds to get into the ground and more peas to harvest. Come feel God’s good earth in your hands and get a good feeling from knowing you are providing healthy food for the hungry. All produce at the Garden is grown organically. You don’t need to know how to garden; our experienced leaders will show you what to do. Bring drinking water and remember that there are no restrooms at the Garden. Join us any Saturday from 9:00 – 11:00 am.

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Sprout! 2013 Garden Project

The Black Mountain Home for Children Garden Project has a new name, a new Facebook page, two new leaders, and an exciting new funding source to start a new season. The “Home Grown Garden” was honored with a grant from Buncombe County for an irrigation system, wheelbarrows, tools, a picnic table and a shade canopy to make gardening more pleasant for our volunteers.

We will kick off the 2013 planting season (our third year) with a workday on Saturday, April 6 from 10:00 am to noon and repeat every Saturday in April at that time. No experience is necessary, but do bring drinking water. We will continue our lasagna garden layering technique, build a trellis, plant peas and other early crops. Look for the garden sign on Lake Eden Road by the stone silo before you get to the entrance of the Home. And be sure to check out Home Grown Garden on Facebook.

Black Mountain Home Garden Project

Only two more chances to volunteer at the Garden!!!

It is time to harvest the last of the crops and prepare the soil for the next planting at the Black Mountain Home Garden Project. This Saturday, September 22, from 9:00 – 11:00 am, we will use the “lasagna garden” technique to enrich the soil.  We will have piles of dirt, mulch, manure, and wood chips to layer over the existing cardboard and wood chip-covered paths for planting in the spring.

We planted 500 sweet potato plants in May and are expecting to dig up 1000 pounds of sweet potatoes on Saturday, September 29, from 9:00 – 11:00 am. This is the fun part because you don’t know what you will find until you dig it up. It is like digging for buried treasure.

Please join us in a very special part of God’s creation on September 22 or 29 as we close out the Garden Project for 2012. Turn into the property off Lake Eden Road by the stone silo with the cross on it. Bring gloves and drinking water.

Read about what we have done and see pictures at https://thinkearthcare.wordpress.com/category/earth-care/sprout-earth-care/

FPC Applies for Recertification as an Earth Care Congregation

On December 1, 2010, PC(USA) Environmental Ministries certified our church as an Earth Care Congregation, the first in the Presbytery of Western North Carolina. Earth Care                          Congregation (ECC) churches take the “Earth Care Pledge” and complete creation care activities and projects in the fields of worship, education, facilities and outreach. There are now 59 certified ECC churches in the country.

The ECC program is not a one-time award but is designed to be sustainable – continuous actions to lessen our impact on God’s earth and maintain it for future generations. ECC churches may apply for recertification on their anniversary date and we are in the process of doing that now. We are repeating the same audit we took when first certified to see what progress we have made in the last year.

Our church continued and expanded many of the practices started previously such as extensive recycling,   locally grown flowers in the sanctuary, and use of energy-efficient light bulbs. New in the past year were the many activities associated with our Earth Day observance on May 1: guest earth care speakers, youth recycling and solid waste audits, purchase of locally grown food, a nature walk along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the French Broad River clean-up.

Our selection as a Greener Pastor Church and having Maura Farver as our expert intern moved our efforts forward. An ABCCM invitation to hire their young, low-income Green Jobs-trained workers to conduct home energy audits, and a long-running faith development class on earth care led by D’Etta and Neil Leach involved individuals in the  congregation in personal actions.

To stay on the sustainability track, we will be identifying actions to complete for our recertification in 2012. In addition to continuing what we are doing now, we will finish our 2011 plans to develop a memorial tree/shrub program and recommend a specific solar installation to session.

We are constantly looking for new ideas and new energy. If you are interested in being involved in earth care at FPC or want to join the Creation Care Task Force, contact Jane Laping 828-277-7342 or janelaping@sbcglobal.net.

ABCCM Green Jobs Program

As a “Greener Pastors Church,” you have a special relationship with us here at ABCCM Green Jobs. We still have a few more of our four-day free weatherization trainings that include job placement assistance. Please send me an email that says: “Greener Pastors” so I can email you details about our program for you or a friend. Thanks! Diane Stanton: (400-4550)  diane.stanton@abccm.org