Photo by Joanna Schaus
Photo by Joanna Schaus
Photo by Joanna Schaus
Photo by Joanna Schaus

First Free Church Maplewood opened up their Harvest Gardens this weekend! This is our largest church refugee garden in the state.

Arrive Ministries and church staff tried to connect gardeners with other resources and programs that Arrive Ministries offers including: sewing classes, homework help for students, and adult English tutoring since communication is a big challenge for many of our refugee-background friends.

Several people talked about the loneliness of their older relatives this past year due to Covid, and commented on the need for friendship.

In Rochester, our first community garden was launched this weekend help from volunteers and refugee-friends.

Some of the gardeners and their children made a sign calling the ten garden plots the Friendship Place’s Garden of Paradise.

In St. Cloud, our church refugee gardens are expanding from one to two locations.

Many of the gardeners from the Jubilee Garden in the southwest part of St. Cloud have been loyal gardeners since 2018 when the garden started. For the first time this year a couple of families that are Jubilee Church members are gardening alongside the refugee gardeners.
 
As the ground was thawing in early spring, community organizers from the COP House in downtown St. Cloud called Arrive Ministries’ staff asking us to start a garden in the park.
 
Organizers say the first night of planting was a chaotic blast, with dozens of kids showing up to eagerly plant the garden.

We hope for a fruitful growing season for our all of church refugee gardens, both relationally and at harvest time.