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Christ the King Lutheran Church Community Garden

April 29, 2016

One visit to Christ the King Lutheran Church in Coeur d’Alene will leave you feeling humbled and excited by the variety of ways this organization is contributing to the surrounding community’s food needs.

Last year they started a community garden that has been received with much enthusiasm since its inception. The idea for it came from Pastor Dennis Lorenz out of a desire to love their neighbors and connect with the community.

 Originally the space for the garden was a vacant lot in the neighborhood with a few established apple and plum trees. The garden now has about 25 plots as well as rows for produce.

Inland NW Food Network

Dr. Land with produce from the garden.

Neighbors of the church or community may purchase a plot for $25 or they can inquire about a scholarship for a garden plot. Some of the raised garden beds are designed at a height so that gardeners in wheelchairs can have easy access to the produce.

The church offers a program through Dr. John Land, a gourmet chef and former neurologist for the British National Hospital in London, that gives 10 families of four or more people recipes and ingredients to cook meals at home. Dr. Land is passionate about teaching others how to cook and has taken his background in medicine to educate others about health and nutrition through cooking. He uses his own finances and time to create recipe booklets and provide ingredients for the meals, which he offers to families once a month.

Besides educating the community about healthy food and cooking, the church is also providing food through it’s “Love Pantry”, or food pantry. They serve approximately 130 “neighbors” a month, which is about 500 family members. This involves packaged food and commodities, as well as fresh produce from their community garden.

The garden has also become a social space to bring people together surrounding food. Last year, the church grew about 150 pounds of fresh organic produce to share with neighbors through the food pantry. They also host an annual picnic in early September, where food from the garden is shared with the community.

As Associate Pastor Jon Muhly explains, their goal is to connect with the community and see them as partners in this endeavor to create sustainability, air on the side of compassion, and build relationships. They want to walk alongside others and give in a way that builds dignity.

If you are interested in participating in the community garden or other programs, please contact the church at (208) 664-9231.

By Josette Herdell

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