On June 21, neighbors and congregants gathered at Grace Episcopal Church’s garden for a “Taste of Unity,” including fellowship, harvesting beets and taste testing. The garden is nestled behind the church and across from Bailey Court Apartments.
The garden, dubbed the “Unity Garden” after Psalm 133:1, benefits families in Bailey Court by teaching gardening skills, as well as how to use and make various recipes with the produce.
Barbara Nye, outreach coordinator for the church, said the idea for a community garden finally came to fruition after Stanardsville resident Schuyler Muller, who lives adjacent to the church and Bailey Court, repeatedly asked her to start the project.
“I call Sky our garden supervisor because she’s the one that would tell me what I need to do this week,” Nye said. “So, I just said that God’s in charge.”
Muller helped last year when Nye fell and couldn’t work in the garden, as did Nye’s husband, Bert, and others in the church. Muller had a stroke in March and a blood clot in June so she’s unable to work in the garden this year, but still visits the garden with the assistance of her daughter, Genie-Lee Harrell.
On Sunday, June 14 the leaders at Grace Episcopal Church made tea from the mint grown in the garden, which was served along with two different beet salads and other items made with beets.
The church plans to host another event for neighbors Sunday, June 28 with recipes for lettuce grown in the garden. Due to COVID-19, people must socially distance during the presentation and harvesting in the garden. If you live in Bailey Court, contact Barbara at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a time slot.
This isn’t the first outreach for the church’s neighbors. Church members host “Love Laundry” annually where they will wash, dry and fold the clothing for the residents. Also, the church hosts a neighborhood brunch on the fifth Saturday of the month.