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- Episcopal Church in Connecticut
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Community Organic Garden
St. John’s Organic Garden was started in 2011 with one raised bed. We expanded in 2012 to three raised beds. And doubled to 6 raised beds in 2017. 2018 will see the addition of fruit beds.
The garden has been ‘organic’ from the beginning, as part of our caring for God’s Creation:
- We aim to cultivate vegetables in concert with the many healthful micro-organisms and worms already present in the soil. These oranisms prevent the soil from becoming too compacted, and assist in channeling nutrients to the roots of ‘our’ plants.
- We tolerate a certain amount of ‘pesky’ insects eating our plants, and when these begin to really cut into our yield, we use organic pest controls to handle them (e.g., www.gardensalive.com)
The garden has also been ‘for the community’ from the beginning; given our already constructive relationship with the Cornerstone soup kitchen, we decided to give all of our produce to them. We usually harvest on Sundays, bless the produce during the 10 am church service, and then parishioners bring the baskets over to Cornerstone after church.
And what are all those flowers on the hill below the garden???
Our nascent butterfly garden started in 2016.
We were brainstorming for ways to minimize the amount of mowing needed . . . both for safety reasons (it can be hazardous to mow on hills) and for energy reasons (less mowing means less gasoline used which means less greenhouse gasses produced which means less contributions to climate change). We were also concerned about the shrinking habitats of monarch butterflies, who rely on milkweed and other plants for food during their short but spectacular lives. So we have started a butterfly garden, which includes native perennial flowers that have been shown to attract and support butterflies (e.g., milkweed, butterfly weed, purple coneflower, coreopsis).