Buies Creek, N.C. –Tomatoes, corn, squash, cucumbers, peppers, beans and a multitude of other vegetables matured and were harvested this summer in a community garden just off U.S. 421 near the heart of the Campbell campus. A mission outreach opportunity of the Campbell University Campus Minister’s Office, the produce went to supply food pantries, impoverished persons and local churches in the area that distribute food to those in need.
Tended by students, faculty and staff of Campbell University and volunteers from the community, the garden is prepared, maintained and harvested under the leadership of garden organizer and Campbell alumna Billie Hurley, who has a background in agriculture and a strong belief in serving the community. The garden was also designed to build cooperative efforts between Campbell University and the Harnett County community. Campus Minister Faithe Beam said the garden outreach ministry has been a success.
“I don’t have all of the data yet, but quite a large number of families who struggle with basic needs were helped,” Beam said. “The food bank where we delivered the vegetables sees approximately 200 families weekly.”
Her office is now planning for the next year and beyond, she added.
“We are looking at three phases of the garden’s outreach. The missional phase is what we are engaged in right now; planning crops for the purpose of sharing with others and helping persons in need. The other phases include an educational component for students on campus as well as workshops in the community concerning health and food preparation. The final is a communal phase, allowing for the garden to be a gathering place for meals and other activities.”
Beam said ultimately she and the volunteers would like the garden to be a catalyst for worship and spiritual reflection and a place for fellowship with others.
For more information about the Community Garden or to volunteer with the garden ministry, contact [email protected]/* */.