The Giving Garden at Franklin First UMC

Giving Garden Volunteers
Giving Garden Greenhouse
Giving Garden Greenhouse
Giving Garden Potato Group
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Fresh Food For Those In Need

The main campus of Franklin First United Methodist Church (FFUMC), located at 120 Aldersgate Way  in Franklin, is host to an amazingly large garden operation, The Giving Garden. What started as a  pumpkin patch for the kids on the expansive property has grown to five acres with five individual fields  and flower and herb gardens.

In 2015 The Giving Garden Board voted to implement sustainable production methods.  This practice  helps preserve the nutrients in the soil and results in plants with fewer insects and disease. Only organic  chemicals are applied and cover crops are used in the fields. The goal is for most of the plants placed in  the garden be grown from seed in the on­site greenhouse.  

There is an incredible amount of science and research in each decision made regarding the garden.

  • The staff instructs individuals in the greenhouse on seed starting to planting in the fields.   
  • Three water tanks, 10,000 gallons, 5,000 gallons and 1,550 gallons, have been installed and will  be used to harvest water from the two barn roofs for irrigation in addition to our well.
  • Meticulous records are maintained daily regarding plant conditions, insect sightings, water  application through the irrigation system, produce harvested, produce distributed and volunteer  hours, to identify a few.   
  • The bees selected for the property are Solitary Bees which are the most productive. They collect  both pollen and nectar.
  • Cover crops are planted in the fields to assist in building up the soil.  

The Giving Garden is managed through a Board of Directors.

The goal is is to produce 30,000 pounds of food annually which includes 8,000 pounds of tomatoes,  4,000 pounds of Irish potatoes and 4,000 pounds sweet potatoes among other crops. It is estimated that  over 500 individuals are provided produce weekly during the growing season. In addition to the  wonderful food that is distributed, herbs are sent out with fresh produce. In the Fall the herbs are dried  and packaged for distribution. Flowers are used for small arrangements which are delivered through the Meals on Wheels Program. The distribution system supports the Board's goals. As produce is harvested it  is weight and recorded. In addition the Franklin Farmers' Market donates 10,000­15,000 pounds of  food annually which is delivered through The Giving Garden distribution system.   

WCMGA reports in excess of over 1,000 hours of service annually to this project. There are also many  other groups, including area youth groups, that contribute to the goal of providing fresh food for those  in need in middle Tennessee. 

The mission of the WCMGA volunteers is to improve the lives of Tennesseans by promoting  environmental stewardship, non­commercial food production and human health and well­being through  residential and consumer horticulture education delivered by a dedicated and skilled volunteer network.   

Volunteers are welcome to join The Giving Garden from mid­April to October. The schedule is  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 8:00 am to 11:00 am.  

Check out this article: "Methodist church’s Giving Garden continues to evolve in serving community"

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