Marissa GOULD, Intern
St. Luke’s of the Mountains Episcopal Church, the historic stone church at Rosemont Avenue and Foothill Boulevard, is known for helping the community. It is a partner in the successful youth program the Firehouse, and has recently started a community garden on its grounds. It will donate the food produced to homeless shelters and food banks within 25 miles of the church. The project is headed by Tim Parks, Gabriel Ynda and Sara Stammer.
The garden project is grounded in Christian principles. Many Episcopal churches, including St. Luke’s, determined that they had more space than they needed, so the pastors of these parishes decided to convert at least 10% of their unused land to farmland .
At St. Luke’s, two gardens are being planted at the east end of the church property, behind the Firehouse, and there are plans to add a third garden on the lawn by the church’s flags.
There will be a variety of foods grown in these gardens. Behind the Firehouse there will be herbs, spices and various vegetables including tomatoes, peppers and squash. Currently, there is a six-week old tomato plant that is growing beautifully. This is good news since one of the goals of the gardens is to have at least 20 to 25 pepper and tomato plants. The front garden will be used for pumpkins and sunflowers. Parks even has plans to grow the church’s altar flowers.
To fertilize all of this, Parks is asking the community to bring in their own biodegradable trash (paper, rotting fruit, vegetables, wood, manure, etc.) to help create compost. Folks are asked to not only help with the compost, but to assist in the gardening as well. The “community” part of the “community garden” is an invitation to everyone in the Crescenta Valley area to lend a hand in the project – being a part of the St. Luke’s congregation is not necessary.
Parks said that he is excited about this project because it gets people to “connect with the Earth” and bring them together.
Anyone who would like to help out on this project is invited to stop by on Saturday, July 6 when Ynda is bringing his Boy Scout troop to help work in the gardens. However, the garden is always there, so volunteers are invited to put on a pair of gloves and start gardening for a cause any time they’re free.
St. Luke’s of the Mountains is located at 2563 Foothill Blvd. in La Crescenta.