The Giving Garden was started in 2009. The garden grew out of an idea to utilize some of the beautiful property God graciously gave Shepherd of the Valley to help people in need. The purpose of the garden is to grow fresh vegetables and distribute them locally to people in the Corvallis area. The first year, we provided over 1,000 pounds of produce to local food-banks. The 2012 growing year yielded a whopping 2,100 pounds of produce. What we harvest from The Giving Garden is usually donated to the South Corvallis Food Bank, Community Outreach, and the Jackson Street Youth Shelter. Produce from the garden is also distributed to neighbors and church members in need.
The garden is one way for Shepherd of the Valley to share the love of Christ and serve the people of our city. Our vision for the garden is continually growing. We believe we ought to grow produce for as much of the year as possible. We added 12 raised beds, constructed from recycled highway guardrails, which allow us to plant earlier in the wet Oregon spring. Also, we added covers to the raised beds; extending the growing season and providing fresh, local produce when the need is greatest. Dreams for the future include a greenhouse on site (for even earlier plant starts), a fruit orchard, and a community garden.
Our garden is managed by volunteers from Shepherd of the Valley, with the help of many other people – members of other churches, youth and high school groups, and student groups from Oregon State University. If you have a desire to help out with the life of the garden or have ideas to contribute, there are many ways to get involved: tilling, planting, weeding, harvesting, packaging, delivering, and future planning. You can get more information or join the garden team by contacting the church office.
The committee members for The Giving Garden include Bill Chambers, Donna Durbin, Fernando Henriques, Jennifer Klammer, Jim Knoke, Nevette Orth, and Lidia Watrud.
You may also be interested in ‘Seed to Supper – A Beginning Gardening Class’ presented by the South Corvallis Food Bank or the 4-H Horticulture Club hosted at Shepherd of the Valley. The second Tuesday of each month, SVLC hosts the 4H Horticulture Club, also known as the Garden Gnomes, for their monthly meetings. The Garden Gnomes plant raised bed plots in the Giving Garden. The produce they raise goes to their families, is shown at the Benton County Fair, or donated to local food banks.