Raise the Bed Day scheduled for The Field of Plenty

Published 11:29 am Thursday, April 21, 2016

Special to The Leader

Orange Christian Services is set to kick-off their newest project, which will make fresh food available to those who are hungry. On April 30, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. “Raise the Bed Day!” will be the beginning of The Field of Plenty, a garden that will provide fresh produce to clients of OCS, with extra produce shared with the soup kitchens in Orange.

The 1.97 acre garden is located behind Orange Christian Services, at 2120 Wickard in Orange. The land was donated to OCS by Charles Zeto, son of the late V. J. and Jean Zeto, who were longtime benefactors and friends of Orange Christian Services.

According to garden coordinators, Claire Smith and Sandra Hoke, “Our primary purpose is to encourage people to turn their garden interest into action to alleviate hunger. We can do that by coming together to:

  • Grow and harvest vegetables in raised beds,
  • Grow and harvest fruits from an onsite orchard,
  • Provide vegetable gardening classes, and
  • Provide classes on how to prepare, cook and preserve garden produce.

The garden committee has worked with the City of Orange to assure compliance with all city codes. A garden site plan has been developed and approved for implementation by the city. The committee has designed The Field of Plenty to be developed in three phases over the next three years, and the coordinators are anxious to start digging in the dirt and to partner with the community to begin the garden.

“Raise the Bed Day” will kick-off phase one at The Field of Plenty. Volunteers will build ten 5×20 foot raised beds. Beds will be constructed from cinder blocks, a newsprint/cardboard layer lining, and topped with soil. General cleanup and other jobs will be assigned on that day.

Subsequent phases include creating an orchard space with irrigation, a service entrance with parking, landscaping material storage, limited mobility gardening, keyhole garden beds, an onsite green house, and an outdoor pavilion with a kitchen for community cooking classes.

Funding thus far has been provided through grants and donations. There are several ways to participate in making The Field of Plenty a reality. Volunteers are needed on April 30, to build the raised beds. There will be plenty of lifting, shoveling, and moving of materials. Volunteers will need to sign in upon arrival and will be divided into teams. The Field of Plenty will also need people who are willing to continue volunteering through the seasons to make the garden successful.

If you’re not a gardener or prefer not to play in the dirt, but want to help, financial donations are always appreciated. Annually sponsoring one of the beds by providing soil, compost, fertilizer and seed is an option, and there will be opportunities to sponsor future garden goals.

For additional information, or to volunteer, call Orange Christian Services at 409-886-0938 or email TheFieldofPlenty@gmail.com. You can also see photos of some of the work that has been done in preparation for “Raise the Bed Day!” on the FOP Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/fieldofplenty/. Watch our Facebook page for updates, in case the weather does not cooperate leading up to or on April 30.