NE

MUSTARD SEED

COOPERATIVE GARDEN

 
 
 
 
 
 

Our garden gets its start

In August 2022, Pastor Stuart Spencer initiated a task force to explore interest in the creation of a cooperative garden at FPC Moorestown. The task force met regularly to dream and pray, learn and plan and included church and Staff members.
 
It’s a blessed undertaking and we are excited! We would love to have you join us, we meet at a variety of times. 
 
 

What’s Happening

 

The Mustard Seed Cooperative Garden fed our neighbors fresh produce!

Our garden produced lots of vegetables in our first season and we’ve shared it with the Moorestown Ministerium Food Pantry and the meal delivery program through St. Vincent’s church. We shared lettuce, spinach, radishes, mint, summer squash and beets. We also invited neighbors in the community to donate produce from their gardens too, a partnership in feeding our local friends in need. 
 

Volunteering at MSCG is a blessing – listen to Liz!

 

I had the pleasure

of harvesting this morning. It was my first time; I welcome feedback as I learn. It was so peaceful; to pick & pray (a new poem title?!) I pulled 3 beets which was exciting for me as this was my first time harvesting beets. I felt like a kid in a candy shop choosing a favorite treat. This ministry shows the love of Christ like no other.
 
Leslie gave me a great tutorial Sunday after church so I was eager to harvest and deliver to the Food Pantry at The Lutheran Church.
I was so blessed to be able to stay and serve (Tamara Treziak greeted me when I arrived!) The guests were thrilled and grateful for fresh produce. Leslie ordered white paper bags, put Mustard Seed stickers on them. They were perfect for splitting and sharing the harvest among as many guests as possible.
 
Many thanks to all of you who made this vision a reality as you prepared the garden, donated plants, planted, watered, weeded.
 
Grateful & blessed, 
Liz Greene
 
 

Meet Us in the Garden

 

We will close and winterize the garden on Sunday, October 29th

This is a Church Has Left the Building activity, please sign-up online.  SIGN ME UP!
 
Volunteers, should bring their own gardening gloves. Things that need to be done that day:
  • Remove and discard all dead plant material
  • Store cages, velcro, signs and other materials
  • Gather leaves and put them on the beds
  • Possibly implement the “lasagna garden” technique to easily kill the grass in the garden so we can be grass-free in the spring and have more planting space. If we use this technique, we will need volunteers to bring cardboard to put down on the grass.
  • Possibly remove the dirt from one of the raised beds that may have an invasive grass in it.
 

Read Our MSCG Newsletter

 

Mustard Seed Cooperative Garden Newsletter

We are happy to bring up to date news and photos of our garden activity! Download your copy here…
 
 

HEADLINES!

Save the date – Monday, June 12, 6:00 pm, Garden Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. All are invited!
 

Donation Station

 

Would you like to make a donation of supplies to the Mustard Seed Cooperative Garden?

Please bring new or nice-condition-used garden gloves, clippers, trowels, Alaska fish fertilizer 5-1-1, twine or twist tie roll, melon and pumpkin seeds, and bags of potting soil (for a Strawberry Festival garden craft). Please also bring in shoe boxes, which are great produce give-away containers. Place your items in the wheelbarrow located in the Miller Commons lobby marked “Donation Station”. Thank you for your contribution to the garden.
 
UPDATE! Thank you to Owen Dietz, Kevin and others for purchasing the storage bin! We could use a heavy-duty outdoor storage bin to store small tools and supplies for the garden. We would NOT lock it, so a lock is not needed. The bin could be approximately 41”x21”x22”. It could be new or used, but we would like it to be in good condition. Would you like to donate one? Please let Leslie Spencer know.
 

Mission, Vision and Why Statement

 

Our Mission:

The Mustard Seed Cooperative Garden, hosted by FPC Moorestown, provides fresh foods to promote the well-being of everyone in our community. We look to join hands with our Moorestown Ministerium churches and other members of our community to nourish and nurture our neighbors by raising and sharing fresh produce. Children, youth, young adults and their families are encouraged to come to help tend the gardens and enjoy this beautiful place. In addition to fresh produce, we cook and provide ideas for delicious meals using what comes from the garden.

Our Vision:

We offer a beautiful garden to gather people from our church family and community to grow, prepare and enjoy fresh foods with everyone and anyone in our community, ensuring that all have access to nutritious produce.

Our Why:

We desire to be fruitful followers of Jesus: “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15: 5)
 

First Year Goals

 

Check, check and double check!

We believe it is important in the first year to set modest and realistic goals so that our church can experience success and build enthusiasm for the growth of the garden ministry.
  • Goal 1: Construct durable, high-quality raised garden beds on a section of the church property with access to sunlight and a water source. Construct an attractive fence to protect the garden from animals eating the produce. The garden will be designed to be accessible to people of all abilities and to be a beautiful addition to the labyrinth and fire pit areas, forming a park where people can relax in nature.
  • Goal 2: Successfully grow a selection of popular crops in the spring, summer and fall of 2023 to be shared for free with all who attend FPC Moorestown through special events planned during the growing season.
  • Goal 3: Engage church members of all ages in the garden through education, training and coordinated garden care and maintenance activities.
  • Goal 4: Share the produce for free with congregants and community members.
 

How Our Garden Grows

 

The garden is growing 

Our Mustard Seed Cooperative Garden is constructed in the grassy area near our large parking lot and the Labyrinth. As the seasons progress stop by to see what has popped up!
 
The garden is designed to meet three goals.
  • First, to use the space efficiently for maximal food production.
  • Second, the garden is aesthetically attractive and inviting. Future plans include adding benches and picnic tables for people to sit and enjoy the space.
  • Third, the garden is designed to be accessible to people of all ability levels, including those who use wheelchairs or other assistive devices. Raised beds allow those who are unable to bend down to the ground to participate in gardening. Kneeling benches will be built on the sides of the raised beds.
We thank Brian Pearsall and Alex Seidel, Backyard Gardens LLC, for the design and construction of the garden. Find them on Facebook
 

Funding Sources

 

We have TWO Sources

Year 1 garden construction and implementation costs will be covered by two sources of donations to FPC Moorestown that are separate from the general fund.
  • The Memorial Fund was designated for improvements to the physical property of the church.
  • A second source of funding was pledged by a member toward the construction of the garden.
We are thankful for our generous donors and welcome all who would like to participate in this way.  DONATE
 
 

Help Wanted and Welcome

 

Thank you so much to all who took part this year. You are all a blessing!

We started small our first year,

so that we can learn what works best and develop a solid team of volunteers. We envision the garden ministry growing in the coming years to produce more food to feed our neighbors and to provide a variety of educational and training experiences for children, teens and adults.

Would you like to volunteer to participate in the garden year?
Next planting season will be here before you know it!

We are looking for people interested in planting, tending and harvesting the garden. We also need volunteers to help with communication  and to help plan our outreach and educational programs.

You’re invited to complete a brief survey at our Annual Meeting and online indicating your interests. 
 
 

Questions?

The Garden is led by a committee which includes Leslie Spencer (Coordinator), Toni Farmer (Master Gardener – visit Toni on Facebook) and Susan Shaffer (Deacon Liaison). Each member, and our staff, is available to answer questions you may have. Please contact the church office at 856.235.1688.
 

Watch Our Progress!