As cool sunshine hovered over the hill where First Presbyterian Church sits overlooking La Follette, a handful of folks harvested the last of this year’s crop. 

Friday morning was sweet potato day as the dirty orange delights were dug out of  the raised garden beds.

TOP PHOTO:  (Left  to right) Sam Schaus, Tim Worman, Lisa Fields and Stephanie Bohon work the garden on Friday morning.

Since the garden was started in 2016, this was far and away the most successful season with more than 2,500 people being fed from the harvest, according to church pastor Sam Schaus.  There is still some okra to be picked, but ahead of Friday’s sweet potato digging, black eyed peas, corn, sunflowers, pole beans, green beans, green peppers, jalapeño peppers, tomatoes, kale, spinach, collard greens, cabbage and summer squash were grown; all organically.

Some of Friday’s harvest

Food Life Service clients benefit from the FPC Garden.  From May through October, each bag of food distributed on Tuesdays and Thursdays by FLS contained something fresh from the garden that was actually taken from the garden the morning of the distribution.  Stephanie Buhon and her husband Tim Workman, intragual members of the garden crew, hope that someday the garden can have a contribution to all of the 52,000 bags of food FLS distributes each year.

Steve Jackson (above), digging out sweet potatoes by hand, and his wife Amy (out of the photo) are key members of the garden crew

The garden is grown in 14 raised garden beds.  Most of the beds are 6 x 12 and a few are 6 x 6.  Residents  from the Shepherd’s Home for men helped in building the beds.

Another addition to the growing process is a rain barrel irrigation system.  The barrels are positioned around the church to catch rain when it runs off the roof.  There’s a large tank that stores the water with plans of a solar pump being installed for the tank.

In about five months, probably on a cool March morning, a lot like last Friday, the third FPC garden will start another season.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 10/23/2018-6AM)