Loveland church’s garden for needy is blooming
Loveland Daily Reporter-Herald
LOVELAND, Colorado – Loveland’s King of Glory Lutheran Church has always made an effort to relieve hunger around the world, including through work with and donations to international nonprofits. Yet recently, a group of its parishioners planted an idea of a simple way to fight hunger right here at home.
Using the church’s large lawn, members could plant and tend a garden. Its produce could then be given to those in need.
A few months later, after a sprinkle of donations and volunteers, the idea has blossomed into a thriving garden.
And its vegetables are being donated each week to those seeking assistance through Loveland’s House of Neighborly Service.
“The issues of poverty and hunger are huge. How can we really make a difference?” said the church’s pastor, the Rev. Susan Candea.
“This is a way. … We really are doing something concrete for the community.”
The garden has become a group project for almost everyone involved with the church.
The seedlings were started in March by the church’s youths and grown inside the building.
Meanwhile, teens and other volunteers helped construct the troughs, which were filled with dirt before planting the seedlings in them in May.
From there, the garden was tended each week by a new group of volunteers.
Some are families, others are avid gardeners – but every volunteer is helping the project flourish.
“This is the most well-tended garden in Loveland,” said Karyn Eddins, who was helping in the garden.
And the results are bountiful.
Tall sunflowers and beanstalks reach toward the sky, while tomatoes plump on vines and squash, pumpkins and peppers grow nearby.
There are even colorful cutting flowers, which are given to parishioners who need some extra cheer.
“It’s such a cool thing,” said Andy Boesenecker, a volunteer.
“In April this was all grass. Within two months, it’s neat to see all this.”
The produce is picked each week and donated to the House of Neighborly Service, where it’s given to community members in need.
So far, the church has given more than 50 pounds of fresh vegetables to the cause.
And not only does this project help those struggling, but it also enriches the lives of those who get to contribute to it.
“It’s really prayerful to touch the earth and see the fertility,” said Roxanne Goodrich, who was helping in the garden.
“It really is a blessing of what God is doing.”
Next year, those involved hope to expand the project from six to 20 troughs in which the garden can grow.
Among these troughs, coordinators hope to include gardens for the homeless families helped through the Interfaith Hospitality Network.
They also want to assign troughs to community members who want to start their own garden but don’t have the space at their home.
“We’re thinking about the whole community and how we can grow,” Candea said.