Parkland’s very own Trinity Lutheran Church is running an agricultural experiment that could change the future of urban gardening.
Although it’s not often you see rolling fields of wheat populating the west coast, co-chair of Trinity’s feeding ministries, Kurt Scearce, has begun to grow his very own wheat crop.
“The goal with the food bank and food pantry at Trinity is to eat at as local as possible. Typically we get food from within a ten mile radius but grain was the only thing that we didn’t have locally,” Scearce said.
There are currently stalks of wheat planted in raised beds outside the church and across the street in the garden.
These are the beginning of a plan to use more locally grown food for the food bank and monthly community meals. After the grain has been harvested, Scearce hopes to use some of it to make flour, bread, and even rice.
Wanda Wentworth, also a co-chair of Trinity’s feeding ministry, says the goal is, “Providing nutritional food for the local community.”
Wentworth has high hopes for Trinity’s newest connection. The Emergency Food Network (EFN) of Tacoma is a recent partnership that will be another local source of food for the church’s various programs.
There are currently three local farms that supply Trinity which are Zestful Gardens, Little Earth, and Mother Earth farms. Trinity has been keeping up a food pantry for over thirty years and has more recently begun to hold community meals.
Although Trinity does receive a lot of help providing food to those in need from local sources, the new partnership with the EFN will
provide even more donations of non-perishable items to Trinity.
“There’s a lot of support we receive from the community. But connecting with the Emergency Food Network is very exciting for us,” Wentworth said.
The PLU community garden is also a contributor to Trinity’s food bank. All of the food grown there gets donated to the church.
This concern for the well-being of the Parkland community seemed to be a recurring theme among the congregation. However, the goal of providing Parkland residents with healthy, fresh meals doesn’t come without a few complications.
Nick Steele, a PLU graduate and past co-president of the PLU community garden, now helps out at Trinity Lutheran. He stressed the importance of teaching people how to properly prepare the food.
“We hold demonstrations here every so often to show people how to prepare the fresh produce we supply them with.”
Scearce’s passion for gardening is propelling him towards new innovative ways to feed the Parkland community in a healthy way. It started with wheat, but this could be the jumping-off point to help propel Parkland into an urban gardening hot-spot.