I want to tell y'all about my Totally-Brilliant-Afternoon. I was invited to attend the official opening of "The Giving Garden" and it's such an inspirational thing I want to share the joy.
Menzieshill church in the middle of a big housing scheme in Dundee (and their minister) had a vision of a useful purpose for a bit of waste ground behind their church. It was completely overgrown and had rubble, trees, bushes and litter and was not very promising. Yet they could see a use for it. Dundee has a wonderful and very essential charity called Dundee Food Bank which distributes food to people in desperate need. I know some of those involved and it's just fab. Mostly they distribute tins and dried food but through the vision given to Menzieshill church and their minister they should be able to include fresh produce for at least some of the year now.
The vision, now on course for fulfilment, was for the waste ground to be made into a big allotment growing vegetables and fruit that could be donated to the food project. The first crop is now planted and the first harvest is anticipated with excitement.
Prisoners from the local open prison were drafted in to clear the ground. This has been great for them in lots of ways. It's this part of the project of which I was a small, but very glad, link in the chain. At least one individual from local homeless units has been involved in the work too. Two of those "workers" are now attending the church and growing in faith.
The local primary school were willing participants, helping with some of the gardening. A girl at the school came up with the logo and a boy at the school came up with the name ("The Giving Garden"). The reason they didn't go with "Menzieshill Giving Garden" and chose "The Giving Garden" is that they are really hoping that the idea will spread and that Giving Gardens will become a feature of many towns and cities, in just the way that food banks are, more and more so. Many churches have unused ground that could be used in this way. Incidentally, the girl and boy whose logo and name were chosen got a bike (and helmet, for H & S) as a prize, presented by the Lord Provost of Dundee - that was the point at which I nearly lost it and cried!
In the picture below, btw, if you look over the fence, the whitish head on the far left is moi! Even my closest friends will have to take my word for it. The prisoner who was there understandably was even more camera shy than me. The minister of the church is holding the left hand side of the giant-cheque-thing and wearing a checked shirt. The guy on the far left of the picture is one of the leaders of the Dundee Food Bank. I am proud to know these guys.