With a cold wind gusting Monday afternoon, dozens of people gathered for a ceremony on a bit of land, that, for now, is a dirt lot. But it won’t be just dirt for long.
The groundbreaking ceremony marked the beginning of a new community garden at Asbury Theological Seminary.
The garden will serve as a classroom as well as a place for Asbury students, faculty and staff to grow food, Jo Brossius, spokesperson for the seminary, said.
Timothy Tennent, president of the seminary, presided over the ceremony.
A garden is an important learning tool, one he and his wife used in bringing up his own children, Tennent said during his presentation.
“We didn’t want our children to think that food came from the grocery store,” he said. “We wanted them to know that it came from the ground.”
Foods such as corn, fruits and many other crops will be grown, said Ryan Smith with the seminary’s Office of Global Community Formation.
International students in particular have been wanting a place to grow their native foods, Smith said.
The garden includes almost 2 acres of land and will consist of 20 individual plots as well as areas for shared crops, Smith said. It also will include a prayer garden, herb garden, fruit trees and a greenhouse.
A path in the shape of an ichthus fish will encircle the garden, which lies next to Kalas Village, the seminary’s family housing complex.
Though the be self-sustaining garden will be tended by Asbury community members, it is for the everyone in the area, Brossius said.
“It really is a community project in the sense that we’ll share with the community,” she said.
Some of the food from the garden will be given away to local food banks and other organizations, she said.
“We definitely want to use it as a blessing to our community,” Smith said.
Asbury Seminary was awarded a two-year $18,000 grant by the Dora Tes Basileas Foundation to establish the community garden. Other donations came from Wilmore Mayor Harold Rainwater, Kentucky Utilities and ABR Construction, Smith said.
The first work day for the garden is scheduled for Saturday, but that might have to be postponed if it snows, Smith said.