Historic Peace Church     www.mennocom.org

COMMUNITY GARDEN


Our Community Garden Program is one of the three main local outreach ministries of Mennonite Community Church. The other two —Sponsoring a Mennonite Voluntary Service Unit, and our CARE Project — are discussed elsewhere. See Local Outreach.


 

 


 



Community Garden

Mennonite Community Church began a community garden project in the early 80s. We divided a small unused plot of ground into 9 sections and local Asian families signed up for the plots and agreed to pay for irrigation water. Several administrations and 20+ years later, we had lost control of the users list and were no longer collecting irrigation water payments.

With the help of the Hmong Mennonite Church pastor we attempted to contact the current Asian gardeners. During this process we learned of several Mennonite Hmong families who were very interested in having access to garden space. We decided to completely reorganize and to look for a more equitable and responsible way to serve the Asian gardeners in our community.

After much discussion, in 2009 we decided to partner with FIRM (Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries). FIRM seemed like a perfect match for our situation since they already had experience developing and administering community gardens. After a year of planning and developing the plot, the community garden at Mennonite Community Church opened in late 2010.

As part of the project development, the plot was expanded to nearly an acre. It now serves 13-15 families. FIRM has full administrative control of the garden, and since the garden is on its own water meter, pays for all the irrigation water used. The gardens are surrounded by a chain-linked fence with locking gate, and FIRM provides portable restroom facilities for the gardeners.

Several of the families are within walking distance of the garden, so it is truly a service to our neighborhood. As you can see from the photos, the Asian gardeners are blessed with "green thumbs" to the extreme. It is a blessing to be part of a community project that provides food security for these neighbors.

 

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