Reclaiming Odessa

This coming Monday morning we will be working to reclaim a garden on Odessa Street in Larmar. It’s a garden that we have acquired responsibility of to make it a beautiful and productive space. If you’re around and not working on Monday morning let one of us here know and I’ll get you details.

Busy Weekend In the Hood

Garfield Farm had a very busy, but very good weekend. On Saturday we worked along side folks from other local churches at the the garden, weeding, watering, planting, and building. At this same time Valley View Presbyterian Church was feeding over a hundred of Garfield’s residents at their Saturday food bank. And this was the first time Garfield Farm significantly participated in the food bank. Dozens of bags of our fresh spring mix salad greens were given away to those in need, probably the only fresh food available. It is exciting to know that we are doing what we’ve said we want to do, get fresh organic food to people who otherwise may not afford it.

During our work and the food bank, volunteers from local churches were also working with Open Hand Ministries to transform yards, houses, an old church building, and other spaces. Their ministry focuses on rehabilitating abandoned property in Garfield and East Liberty for first time home owners who otherwise may never afford a decent home. This work day was spent working on the yards and homes of our recently new homeowners, we all know that a fixed up house soon needs more fixin’.

Finally, on Sunday morning Garfield Farm participated in the Highland Park Yard Sale, really it’s more like a neighborhood festival, put on by the neighbors, no corporate sponsors or big businesses. There were of course people all over the neighborhood selling their antiques, junk, and what-not, but there were also arts and craft vendors, musicians, and DJ’s, and folks gillin’ up on the sidewalks. It was a great atmosphere of neighbors being neighbors. We participated by setting up our tent at the Union Project and selling our salad greens, spinach, radishes, and tomato and pepper plants. It was a great time talking with folks, signing them up on the mailing list, and even inviting them to church.

Free Range Chicken From Lamppost Farm

Garfield Community Farm and Lamppost Farm in Eastern Ohio are developing what could be a beautiful partnership. Kind of like a Great Dane and a miniature poodle becoming best friends, except we’re both still at more of the poodle stage in terms of size right now. Our farms are in their early years that is to say. We are two very different farms, one urban and one rural. One a family run farm and one neighborhood based farm with churches partnering to run it. One farm focuses on growing organic veggies and one on free range meats. Our differences are what will make this partnership a great thing. The biggest similarity between our farms is that sustainable agriculture, care for our bodies and the earth, ethical treatment of animals, etc. are all in response to Jesus Christ’s declaration that “The Kingdom of God is among us”. As Christians we are responding to God’s call in our lives to be witnesses of that Kingdom. As Christians we are living into a counter-cultural lifestyle that we pray will point toward the salvific work of Jesus and His coming Kingdom of peace.

OK, with that theology in mind. Help us start this partnership! Lamppost is setting up a CSA delivery right here in the East End of Pittsburgh of their amazing free range chicken. These ethically raised birds are great tasting and super healthy. Not only do they not have hormones, antibiotics and other weird stuff, they DO have more of the healthy stuff than conventionally raised chicken meat.

If you’re interested send me an e-mail: john[at]pghopendoor.org

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