In line with its dedication to combat city hunger and promote nutrition, Solid Rock United Methodist Church will host its Harvest Festival on Oct. 25.
The event, from 4:30 to 7 p.m., will feature free food, pumpkin “picking” and painting, story time and plenty of fall-appropriate treats for all ages.
There, Reverend Margaret Powell will announce the church’s upcoming plans: an apple and berry orchard, a water garden, additional compost piles and additional plots to its existing herb and vegetable gardens situated outside the church’s vibrant purple doors.
The Philadelphia Orchard Project is providing pumpkins and other harvest treats for the event, and will break ground in spring 2014 for the on-site orchard, an “edible garden” capable of producing an estimated 2,000 pounds of produce to be distributed through the church’s food-bank service, SHARE.
This summer, Partners for Sacred Places, a nonprofit organization working on preserving historical religious properties, partnered with UMC to create its vegetable garden as part of the church’s Strategic Investment Project. The project and partnership expanded to POP earlier this fall, according to UMC’s newsletter, The Rock Speaks.
Like many urban farming efforts, the reverend’s undertaking is an endeavor to bring healthy, fresh food to local families. As a former nurse, Powell said nutrition education and healthy meals are high on her agenda. Which is, in part, why her congregation has dedicated itself so enthusiastically to SHARE and urban farming.