Growing in Gridley

Growing in Gridley

by the Rev. Mary Boeger, Deacon, St. Timothy's, Gridley

St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Gridley is considering the development of individual garden plots for neighborhood gardeners through the existing Gridley Roots Community Garden, and locating them in the large back yard of the house we purchased next door to the church. Our deacons have attended meetings convened by a community nutrition educator from the Butte County Health Department, who has gathered together a number of people to develop community gardening in Gridley. St. Timothy's is now hosting these monthly meetings.

The group recently chose the name GROW (Gridley Reaching Out for Wellness) because, in addition to siting gardens and involving gardeners in Gridley, it is supportive of the Fruit and Veggie Fest, the Farmer's Market, Community Garden Days and the promotion of healthy eating and food preparation skills. In support, St. Timothy’s will host Health Department cooking demonstrations too. The Rev. Dan Boeger, Deacon at St. Timothy’s, is also working with another church to plan a large garden to support three local food closets, with the involvement of a charter school and a senior complex. This garden is waiting on the necessary approvals.

The Health Department educator works with “Champions for Change” and has included resource people employed with agencies that work with our low-income populations, so county and community assets are being identified. An asset-based community survey is planned and a gardener recruitment campaign is underway. The garden manager, a UC Davis Master Gardener, walked our proposed garden site with us. She was enthusiastic and suggested that we develop a holistic plan for the back yard that includes church and garden uses. A garden proposal is being developed for presentation to the vestry. St. Timothy’s will soon begin to host the Gridley Roots Community Garden monthly meeting as well. Our expanded meeting facilities will provide space for evening gardener meetings, in addition to NA meetings three evenings a week.

I am very excited about the development of this health-based community group because we learned, through our previous work with the Christian Youth Garden and the Super Cupboard program, that there are many people in our community who are in need. There are many who are sharing their resources already and others that want to, but do not know how. I hope we can get everyone around the table and involved in the conversation, sharing, collaborating and developing partnerships to actively develop affordable ways for families to improve their diets and well-being.



1 comment (Add your own)

1. Pat Harik wrote:
Great article, Mary! Sounds like some great collaborative things are about to happen in Gridley!

Mon, March 16, 2015 @ 3:24 PM

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