Two NWC churches using green space to meet needs of communities through gardening

NWC Gardens Pic-2 copyFirst Covenant Church in St. Paul offers a portion of their land to Urban Roots, formerly Community Design Center of Minnesota, a Saint Paul-based organization. Urban Roots employs 30 teen interns from East St. Paul to operate six neighborhood gardens and grow and sell a variety of vegetables and herbs to the community. One of these partners, Roots for the Home Team, makes this produce into salads to sell to Twins fans at Target Field.

Karmel Covenant in Princeton, MN, has operated a garden on their property for the last 5 years, a vision of former pastor Allan Johnson. All plants for this football-field sized garden are donated from Uproot Farms, a local organic nursery, then planted, cultivated and harvested by volunteers from the church. All produce is donated to the local food shelf in Isanti County.

Karmel Covenant’s garden ministry took a heartbreaking turn recently when lead volunteer and caretaker, Tom Krebs, lost his battle with cancer in June 2014. Volunteer new caretaker, Steve Anderson, said “Tom had everything laid out on paper where the plants should go. We followed that to a T and that made it pretty easy, actually.” Pastor Gary Tonn says that Krebs had a heart for feeding the hungry and the church is dedicated to carrying on this vision, naming the garden the “Tom Krebs Memorial Garden.”

Such creative use of space!

Photo caption: Donovan DeGaetano, Pastor to Children and Families from First Covenant Church in St. Paul, enjoys a salad from Roots for the Home Team at Target Field.