Dan White and Susan Krotz working in the First Christian Church's Community Garden.
Dan White, from Arrowpoint Farm, donated 20 bales of hard to find straw for the Community Garden located behind First Christian Church on Church Street in Berryville. The recent drought has caused a shortage of hay and straw and square bales of straw are selling for as much as $8 a bale--when it can be found. Community gardeners at the church are delighted to get it.
White, along with his wife Carola, raises alpacas north of Berryville and had several bales of straw left over from last year. "We believe in self-sufficiency and stewardship and are impressed with the whole idea of community gardening," White said. "The more we can care for one another, and the more we can act locally, the better."
FCC's Community Garden uses organic gardening principles and makes as much use of recycled materials as possible. The straw donated by the Whites was piled on to a base of recycled cardboard; over the next year, both the straw and cardboard will deconstruct and become part of the soil it covers. This method of heavy mulching was popularized by Ruth Stout, the author of Ruth Stout's No Work Gardening. Stout, the sister of best selling mystery writer Rex Stout, lived on a subsistence farm in Redding, Connecticut and was an avid home gardener.
FCC's Community Garden is starting its 6th year and is supported by members of the congregation who are committed to Creation Care and responding to the idea that "the world is the property of God, and as his stewards we are called to a high standard to tend and care for it."
Responding to that idea includes sharing garden produce with people in the neighborhood, donating to Loaves and Fishes, and promoting community gardening as a useful way to build a sense of community in neighborhoods and towns. Last year, eight church groups visited the garden to learn how their congregations could start community gardens.
FCC's Community Garden is open to the public. For more information, contact Pastor Skip French at 870- 423-2588.