Community garden produces bountiful harvest for local food bank
Thanks to a strong foundation of high-performance Triple-S Compost soils, a new community garden at St. John Lutheran Church in Cypress produced a first harvest of more than 2,360 pounds of vegetables and fruit to benefit Cypress Assistance Ministries, a northwest Houston food bank that provides fresh and nonperishable food directly to families in need.
Triple-S Compost provided three truckloads of organic compost to establish the garden, with first plantings going in spring 2022. Planners broke ground on the garden in August 2021 with cooperation from the church, corporate sponsors that donated money and materials, and numerous planners and volunteers who donated expertise, time and sweat equity.
Mark Froehlich, a member of St. John and one of the garden’s lead organizers, said the results have far exceeded his expectations.
“The results of our community garden efforts have been nothing less than inspiring, and it’s because of companies and people who came together to make it happen,” he said. “We were especially grateful for the blessing of starting our community garden with organic composted soil from Triple-S. We know the quality of the soil directly improved our harvest and gives us a stronger foundation for our plantings in the spring.”
Jonathan Holub of Triple-S Compost said he is happy to see how Triple-S Compost’s recycled-waste products make a difference in solving real-world challenges. “Triple-S is so proud to play a role in St. John’s bountiful community garden,” Holub said. “We know our products benefit the people who use them but watching this community garden grow and the volume of healthy food produced show just how beneficial recycled organic matter is as we all work together to feed more people, reduce waste in landfills, and decrease our overall carbon footprint.”
Rev. Mark Wuggazer, senior pastor at St. John Lutheran Church, said volunteer and community support were key factors in the garden’s huge success so far. “At St. John, we try to be intentional in how we live life with each other and here in the community,” he said. “The St. John community garden has been a wonderful opportunity for our church and our people to reach out to our neighbors, to work and live side by side in a way that helps us share God’s love in very tangible ways. Look what we can do with so much effort and cooperation from so many! I can’t wait to see what the next years bring.”
Once the garden started producing in late spring, individual church volunteers as well as groups like scout troops and youth groups worked almost every day through late summer and fall to pick, prune and weigh the fruits and vegetables before delivering to CAM. “To be able to deliver more than a ton of fresh, healthy produce to families in our community far exceeded our expectations for the first year,” Froehlich said. “We’re so grateful to the everyone who contributed to providing a strong foundation of success for this project.”
Cypress Assistance Ministries is a faith-based organization that serves individuals and families in financial crisis, those on the brink of homelessness, the elderly, the unemployed and anyone in need in the Cypress area. In 2021 the organization’s food bank distributed 910,025 pounds of food, feeding 21,080 people through its food pantry.
Froehlich said the community garden was fast-tracked thanks to generous support of companies and individuals that donated money, materials and resources to build the raised garden beds, place the soil and compost, build a fence and shed, and install water lines and a solar-powered drip irrigation system. Corporate sponsors joining Triple-S Compost include Lowe’s, Applied Sprinkler Solutions and Texas Irrigation Supply.
Click here to learn more about how Triple-S Compost’s line of premium, organic-waste recycled soils, composts and mulches can fast-track your garden or next commercial project. For more information or to be involved with the community garden, click here.