Monday, August 3, 2020
CommUNITY Garden Update - And Some History Too!

Our previous Spotlight article on the CommUNITY garden was received with a lot of interest, so we thought we'd give you an update.

These 'dog days of summer' are yielding bumper crops: almost 500 pounds of fresh produce have been provided to the families served by New Bethany Ministries or Safe Harbor. What a wonderful way to support our neighbors!
The original article sparked some memories for longtime member Don Masters, who shared these remembrances:

I’m a little “fuzzy” on the actual dates but when I first started at FPCB the gardens, as you know them now, started out where Kirkland Village now sits.
Bill Fenstmaker used to come over in the springtime and plow up an area that was made available to anyone who wanted a garden. When the Nursery School was still in the original building, the playground was on the south side of the south parking lot. With the pending construction of Kirkland Village, the garden was moved to the area west of the children’s playground – between the playground and Center St.

It was opened to the entire community. There were several folks from the south side of Bethlehem. They used to have to transport their own water and that sort of created a demise as such.

Next, the area that is now used as a garden was created by excess dirt that came about during the excavation process in the building of the first part of the Kirkland complex. FPCB wanted to create a parking lot on the north side, across from the Kirk Center. I “weaseled” a deal with the excavation contractor for the dirt and thus created the “built-up” area you now use for the garden.

For years the soil was so poor nothing grew. At one point the garden was plowed and offered to anyone who wanted a space. FPCB folks were given priority; anyone else after that was allowed to 'go for it'.

On more than one occasion produce grew and was about to be harvested when someone from the community would come over and help themselves to whatever was “ripe-for-the-pickin”! Water was another major issue. So the garden(s) has/have had their share of ups-and-downs!