St Thomas Episcopal Church in Sioux City Iowa has received a $5000 grant from HyVee stores which will be used to build a greenhouse at their community garden. Former reporting team member of The Lead, the Rev. Torey Lightcap is the rector of St Thomas.
A statement from the Rev. Torey Lightcap:
Our congregation’s garden, the St. Thomas Community Garden, has generated tremendous good will and energy the past three years, and in view of that support we have been looking to widen its capacity. Among our better notions was to build a greenhouse that would extend our growing season and provide space for education about food, nutrition, and urban agriculture.
There are many who have agreed with this vision, and so far we have raised enough to construct a building and do the initial equipment installations, though some costs (like utility connections) are a bit of a mystery until you get all the way into them. Among donations already received was $750 in a health and nutrition grant from The Episcopal Church’s Jubilee Ministry office.
The total garden ministry is staggering: tons of fresh veggies are harvested every year and brought just up the hill to our parish house to our Food Pantry. The Pantry serves between 700-1,000 individuals per month. The garden sits in a USDA-designated Food Desert, so you can imagine the level of need.
A greenhouse benefits the garden and services both the church and neighborhood in any number of useful ways. For example, we can envision possibly beginning a seed-starting business that would help save money on seedlings for our garden. We also have entrepeneurial hopes: e.g., vermiculture (worm casting farming) can flourish in such an environment.