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The Gifts of the Garden

The Advent Season focuses on anticipation and preparing our heart to receive the gift of Jesus, our savior, on Christmas Day. We prepare our hearts by listening and searching to hear a message that calls us to be our best person to our family, our neighbors, our friends and most of all to everyone we come into contact with, even folks we do not personally know. We feel a quiet joyfulness. We feel hopeful.

You may notice the Jefferson Street Neighborhood Garden in August when the fruits of the season are ready for harvest, abundantly available to serve neighbors through the MAP food pantry. If you think gardening begins in spring and ends in fall, you are missing the best part of the year….for gardening begins in January with the dream and anticipation of planning and growing. As gardeners, we receive so much more in return than we give in labor; the MAP garden gives us a chance to connect with the earth, observing the bee pollinating the squash flower is a miracle and reminds us who is really responsible for our food, it allows us to take a little work break and hear a story from a young mom happily working in the garden and finding purpose while performing community service for mistakes she made. It gives us an avenue to connect with neighbors by sharing recipes for fried green tomatoes or cooking greens. We share life stories while tending the plants. We are thrilled to see the first eggplant! We make friends. We beautify the community. We preserve foods that keep gifting us through the winter. The Jefferson Street Neighborhood Garden is a gift to share with the community!

Submitted by Pam Stevens and Sherry Mitchell, Garden volunteers



chair garden

Garden Sign

Her journey to health is just beginning. Starting next Tuesday, Robin’s treatment includes chemotherapy for 12 weeks and radiation for six weeks. She has stage 3 lung cancer that has gone into her lymph nodes and was referred to MAP through her community health worker. Robin believes healthy food is healing and called our pantry looking for assistance. She wondered if she could get a blender for the time she is going through treatment and can’t eat properly.

“This has been a good day,” said Robin. “God is right there guiding me and preparing me to make it through the next blow. I am calm about it and keeping my faith.”

Robin admits she is a good cook and knows how to make delicious vegetable beef soup with carrots and cabbage. She also loves fresh produce that have all the colors of the rainbow like broccoli, kale, and mandarin oranges.

Healthy food is healing, and with a blender from MAP, Robin will be able to drink her veggies.

Her son works at Eagle Precision and said his employer has been very supportive about him having to take her back and forth to medical appointments. Robin’s oncologist said her cancer is curable and she is keeping positive that she will be healthy again.

food is medicine
Healthy food is healing