Farming for Faith
High Country United Church of Christ was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the F.A.R.M. Café from the restaurant’s inception.
And now that the pay-what-you-can cafe is up and running, the church is continuing to support its mission by donating fresh produce grown in the church garden.
Last fall, even as F.A.R.M. (Feed All Regardless of Means) Café board members were still negotiating terms of a lease with Boone Drug for space in the downtown pharmacy, church council members voted to create a garden on church grounds for the purpose of growing vegetables for the fledgling nonprofit.
Seven 14x3-foot raised beds were constructed and filled with soil, and a fence was erected to keep out wildlife.
Materials for the garden were paid for with member contributions received separately from the church’s budgeted income.
The children’s Sunday school class built a scarecrow, and church members donated seeds.
Volunteers have tended and watered the garden on a rotating schedule.
The first harvest, collard greens, was delivered to F.A.R.M. Café on June 25.
Among the produce to be donated later this summer are beans, peas, tomatoes, squash, beets, chard and spinach.
The church is considering adding an in-ground garden next year to further support the restaurant.
F.A.R.M. Café opened May 1. Executive chef Renee Boughman said, “We are off to a great start.
We’re very appreciative of the church’s generosity and for produce which is also coming from the garden at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.”
Boughman said that the initial plan for F.A.R.M. Café was put into motion by High Country United Church congregation members.
She added that members of the church make up the majority of volunteers who help keep the cafe operational.
“F.A.R.M. Café literally would not exist if it weren’t for this congregation,” she said.
High Country United Church of Christ is located at 8235 U.S. 421, west of Boone. Learn more about the church at http://www.highcountryucc.org. F.A.R.M. Café is located at 617 W. King St. in downtown Boone. For more information, call (828) 386-1000 or visit http://www.farmcafe.org.