Good News Garden Provides 600 Pounds of Food in Morganton
The Good News Garden took root in April 2023. St. Mary’s-St. Stephen’s Church in Morganton has an extensive history of gardening. For years, volunteers grew and maintained a garden that helped supply local food pantries with much-needed fresh produce. The Good News Garden continues to grow out of this legacy and into our present call to love our neighbors and care for creation. We accomplish this by partnering with other congregations who share a desire to love God through caring for creation and our neighbors. Volunteers come from St. Mary’s- St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Grace Episcopal Church, or may not attend church, but desire all the same to care for the earth and help our community
in this way.
When a small group of folks at St. Mary’s-St. Stephen's envisioned the Good News Garden, it didn’t take long to break ground. Father Logan Lovelace of St. Mary’s-St. Stephen’s and
Pastor Logan Miller of Glen Alpine United Methodist were meeting for prayer and thought this was something the two could work together on to try to help benefit the greater community. St. Mary’s-St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church sits on just over five acres of beautiful land. A portion was marked off for the garden. Pastor Miller reached out to his uncle, John Sigmon, a member of the Church of the Epiphany in Newton. Mr. Sigmon was quick to help. He brought his tractor and tilled and turned the ground where the new garden would be. We are forever grateful for his help. We are also grateful to Stone Creek Equestrian Center for the horse manure that has made our garden soil so rich in nutrients.
It didn’t take long before others joined in the effort. We are grateful to have received the
generous donation of hundreds of plants from Bonnie Organic Nursery in Nebo, NC. This donation and continued partnership are instrumental to the garden’s success. We planted tomatoes, bell peppers, tomatillo, okra, beets, cucumbers, zucchini, green beans, onions, watermelon, and cantaloupe. The garden vegetables are picked at least twice a week. They are then taken to Glen Alpine Food Pantry where they provide families in need with food including fresh vegetables. Through the garden, we have also supported the food pantry at St. Charles Catholic Church by providing fresh tomatillos to their pantry. All of this is possible due to the generosity of all who support and help along the way.
The Good News Garden has donated over 600 pounds of produce this summer, and we plan to continue harvesting throughout the fall/winter months. We wish to continue growing our volunteer base and the garden itself. Our most immediate goal is to implement an irrigation system to streamline watering, saving our volunteers many hours, and allowing them to focus on other tasks in the garden.
With continued effort from volunteers we plan to add separate garden plots for corn, squash, pumpkin, and melons. Looking to the future, with additional funding the Good News Garden can begin investing in fruit trees, eventually adding new ways of offering fresh fruit to our community. In the coming year we hope to be planting cherry, peach, fig, and pear trees. We know this is possible with added volunteers and generous financial support. It is the church’s mission to honor God by using the gift of this beautiful land to feed those in need as one of the many ways we share God’s love in the world.