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Loomis First United Methodist - from Parking Lot to Community Garden

As Robert Mion, a routine parishioner at First United Methodist in Loomis, drove past the church's overflow parking lot to attend his regular Sunday service, a thought occurred to him. Wouldn't the sizeable, level plot of land be better utilized as a garden?

A Giving Community
Guided by the congregation’s principles of community and charity, Robert took the lead and coordinated with church staff to move forward with converting the land to a mid-sized garden and a goal of growing nutrient-dense, organic produce for distribution to the hungry through Placer Food Bank.

A Celebration of Collaboration
"Definitely not a gardener", he insists, Robert was ill-equipped to begin the daunting process of designing, building, planting and harvesting a community garden. Fortunately, Patti Kiehl ('Patti-pedia' to those who are familiar with her expertise) from the Sierra College Department of Agriculture and its Sustainable Agriculture Society answered Robert's call for assistance. Recognizing a unique, 'real world' challenge, as well as a volunteer opportunity for her students, Patti encouraged her class to compete for the chance to design and foster the garden. Two students in particular – Keith Overton and Lisa Wilson – have adopted the garden and make biweekly visits to test soil, assess pest control and document their progress. With the help of Placer Food Bank volunteers and the church's youth group, the First United Methodist "Because We Can" Faith Garden recently yielded its first harvest of Chinese and green cabbage as well as over 290 pounds of squash.

For more information on how you can get involved in the Placer Community Gardens Program email Program Manager:

The Granite Bay Boys Club volunteer at Dancing Dog Farm

Young or old, anyone can volunteer at one of our gardens.

Our garden facilitators share their love of gardening

Student volunteers can be part of the solution to a community need

Beans, Beans and More Beans!