The Parish of St. David’s, Edmonton is growing a community garden in the hope it might be a source of fresh produce for its neighbours and the Edmonton Food Bank.
On July 9, several members of St. David’s, including Paul and Gabby Gerun, Marilyn Cebuliak, Susan Spence and rector the Rev. Dr. Renée Desjardins, welcomed Bishop Jane Alexander to bless the garden.
Standing amidst garden boxes flourishing with carrots, potatoes and tomatoes, Bishop Jane spoke of the exciting ways she sees churches responding to need “all over the diocese” by partnering with schools, Indigenous elders, and community organisations such as food banks.
“We pray these new relationships will continue,” she said. “God, we ask your blessing on this garden, that it may be a sign to those passing by that the church cares for those within and outside its walls at all times.“
Over the past several years, St. David’s has transformed its lawn into a thriving community garden bordered by cherry and Saskatoon bushes. To cultivate an interest in gardening with the younger members of the parish, Sunday school teachers planted garden beds, including a bed of strawberries under the church sign, and encouraged the children to help with weeding and watering.
This spring St. David’s received a donation of three garden boxes which were creatively constructed from repurposed garage doors by Jim Kadatz. Parish Reach funds were used to purchase soil and the Edmonton Food Bank donated plants. Gerun and his three children, along with a few strong volunteers, filled the garden boxes with soil. The garden was planted over the Victoria Day long weekend and though though watering duties have been light this year, volunteers take turns tending to the garden under Cebuliak’s watchful eye (she lives across the street from the church).