The blessing on Rogation Sunday of a new community garden at St. Mary and St. Martha of Bethany was equal parts of liturgy, picnic, plant sale, and sales pitch.
The Rev. Laura Masterson and her congregants processed at the end on the Sunday service from the Nave, through the parish’s Formation building and parish hall out to the garden. Surrounded by those who worked the land and those who came to see what has been created Rev. Masterson invoked blessings on the garden, its volunteers, and benefactors.
“And now we will have guided tours, hamburgers and hot dogs, plants for sale from our partner Holy Comforter in Atlanta, and don’t forget the Corn Hole,” Masterson said to about fifty people gathered around the fence of the garden under a full sun.
Trish Foster, who heads up the Grow 2 B Farm said volunteers from the parish and beyond will practice organic farming methods using no-till approaches to grow produce and herbs to share with others.
And there are bees. A donated beehive has begun producing honey. Foster said property around the garden is planted with a variety of native, perennial pollinator plants to provide desirable habitat for our bees and other pollinators.
A seed money grant from the Episcopal Community Fund of Middle and North Georgia, provided the opportunity to transform more than 30 acres into a sustainable urban farm to directly assist those struggling with food insecurity in Hall County.
The farm features giant water collection barrels to feed the farm’s irrigation and a hoop house to germinate seeds, nurture seedlings, and extend the growing season. Foster said it also protects young plants from harsh weather, grow plants to share with the community, and increase food production effort.
The hoop house, fondly named “The Clubhouse”, also creates a learning center we can share with the community, Foster said as she led one tour group.
Learn more about the Grow 2 B Farm.
St. Mary and St. Martha of Bethany Episcopal Church in Buford is easily accessible off the I-985 exit, Friendship Parkway.