Eagle Wings ministry is a mentoring program that invites youth and adults to work together in positive projects, like a community garden sponsored by Pratt Presbyterian church.
A project designed to bring youth and adults together in mentoring pairs is bearing fruit, and providing the community with an opportunity to partake of fresh produce at the Pratt Presbyterian Church, 123 N. Oak St.
“This is the third year we’ve run the gardens as an off-shoot of the Eagle Wings Ministry program,” said coordinator Jennifer Barten. “It’s good to see the children get involved.”
The box gardens were planted by volunteers and mentoring pairs just last weekend, and already some of the strawberry plants are bearing fruit.
“They are kind of small to pick, but they are red,” said Hayley Gonzalez, who was on-hand to water plants Wednesday afternoon. “I usually water on Saturdays, it’s something to do to keep from getting bored.”
Barton said participants from 2nd grade through 8th grade can sign up for time-slots that include weeding or watering, or when the time is right, picking vegetables and fruit.
“We recently got a grant that we want to use to put up picnic tables and hold information sessions for the garden participants,” Barten said. “We will teach about how to know when something is ripe, ways to prepare it to eat, things like that.”
Churches and individuals from around Pratt are involved in the project, not just those from the Presbyterian Church. Achievement House members from across the street also participate in the watering schedule.
“It is a community garden,” Barten said. “But our primary emphasis is letting the kids learn to work and benefit from the produce. We don’t sell any of it to make money. It is just free for those who want to pick it.”
The garden, planned and designed by Carol Stull and Willa Beth Novotny, includes potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, peas, beans, corn and those almost ready to eat strawberries.
“We have a few flowers, but mostly it is all produce to eat,” Barten said.
On June 3 the gardens will be part of the local Quilt and Garden Tour, and for the next few months it will be a place for all ages to work at growing good things to eat.