In case you haven’t noticed, St. Martin’s Garden Ministry is active again with the warmer weather. This is the 8th season since St. Martin’s first started the vegetable garden and donated the produce to Circle of Concern. The pictures show some of the early crops: onions, cucumbers, lettuce, collards, beets, radishes and Swiss chard.
The “Garden Crew” includes St. Martin’s parishioners Scott Pattengill, Gary Harstick, Dan Paterson, John Lang, and Mike Kelly (not in picture). Joining the Garden Crew this year is Michael Potongan. Michael is an IT manager and he and his wife are from the Philippines and have lived in the US for over 10 years. St. Martin’s garden is one of the largest church run gardens in the diocese.
Circle of Concern, Valley Park serves west St. Louis County. The food pantry is the Circle’s core service feeding approximately 600 families each month. Clients “shop” for wholesome foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables. Hello St. Martin’s Garden Ministry!
What’s new in the garden? Well, this year the Garden Crew is growing Collards. Collards have been cultivated in Europe for thousands of years with references to the Greeks and Romans back to the 1st Century. Today they are a staple vegetable in Southern U.S. cuisine and symbolize Southern culture and African-American culture and identity. In President Barack Obama's first state dinner, collard greens were included on the menu.
Did you see the very large dirt pile outside the garden fence in the last several weeks? The Garden Crew is using the dirt to grow watermelon and cantaloupe which will be ready by August. This is the second year for watermelon. It was so popular with Circle of Concern last year that the Garden Crew decided to expand it outside the fence this year.