Environmental Activism and Concern for the Planet are taking real shape in food programing around Old First– our efforts to support, buy and grow locally-produced, organic fruits and vegetables. Our fermenting bins of compost out back. All these couple nicely with our food justice ministries to the homeless and other urban poor people.
In 2011, Old First began a new initiative — an urban farm in our courtyard at 4th & Race Streets! Thanks to funding from the City Harvest Growers Alliance, we’ve transformed an unused portion of our property into a space for growing vegetables.
Our produce will be harvested on Saturday mornings, and then split between two uses:
- being donated for the needy– we anticipate adding a fresh food component to our Saturday Food & Clothing Cupboard; and
- being sold at Old First’s own farmer’s market on Saturdays in the front courtyard– providing an new income source for all our gardening efforts.
All of this food will be grown organically, without any pesticides or artificial fertilizers.
Our volunteers include Old Firsters, clients from the Cupboard, residents from the Shelter, and neighbors from our Old City community.
How can you help?
Volunteer! During the spring months, come to church in your gardening clothes and help with the planting on Sunday afternoon. Throughout the summer and fall, we’ll be looking for folks to help harvest and weed on Saturday mornings and work at our produce market.
Donate plants! Instead of cut flowers from local florists on our altar on Sunday mornings, we’re asking parishioners to donate floral plants that will become part of our ornamental beds. [More about Flower Dedications]
Serve on the urban garden committee! Speak to Pastor Michael if you might be able to help those who are organizing this effort.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Community Supported Agriculture
Members share the costs of the farm by joining the program at the beginning of the season. They then enjoy the fruits of the harvest throughout the summer and fall seasons. Join in the spring, for pick-ups each week from early June through late October. Old First’s pick-ups are on Wednesdays from noon to 7 pm. To join, click here.
Winter Harvest is a bi-weekly program throughout the winter season. Members place orders for specific food items through a Web site and pick up from Old First on Thursdays. The program runs from November to April. To join, click here.