Our Food Pantry Garden

Mission and purpose Peppers and squash, growing in a row, inside our high tunnel. the walls of the high tunnel are rolled up to help maintain the temperature.

Shepherd’s Corner embodies our mission to invite others to join us in experiencing the joys and responsibilities of caring for land, life, and spirit through our food pantry garden. We believe everyone deserves access to fresh, naturally grown produce. At Shepherd’s Corner we grow produce for those in need on about an acre of land. Working with volunteers of all ages to plant, weed and harvest we are able to donate the majority of the produce we grow to local food pantries. 

 

Sustainable and organic practices

Crop rotation and cover cropping
By rotating the location of crops each year buildup of pests and diseases that might target a crop family are avoided. For instance, We improve the health of soil by introducing nitrogen into the soil by growing legumes (i.e. beans and peas). Additionally, rotating cover crops such as rye grass provide the added benefits of improving soil tilth and increasing organic matter. 

Image of Shepherd's Corner's three bin compost system in the main food garden.

Strategic use of natural amendments
We seek to maximize local nutrient cycling by using manure from our sheep and our own compost as fertilizer. Periodically we test our soil to find out if it needs any micro-nutrients or other soil amendments. Instead of applying herbicides to keep our weeds under control tarps and cultivation are used. We are continually scouting for pests and disease. As we are committed to preservation of the environment, we only use natural pesticides when absolutely necessary. Actions like this help us keep our crops healthy.

                                                        Come visit us

Trays of different herbs, grown here, that were for purchase at our annual plant sale.

Plant Sale, May 2nd
Each year we offer a wide variety of vegetables and herbs for sale as a fundraiser to help with our garden expenses. We use local materials to make our own in-house potting mix. 

Walk the garden
Join us at our 5K fundraiser in June and at our annual Shepherds Fest in September for tours of our pantry garden. 

 

 

Garden volunteers working in our field.

       Volunteer in the garden

If you are interested in volunteering in the garden, consider making a reoccurring weekly volunteering commitment. This will provide you an opportunity to learn and develop gardening skills which will make your time volunteering more valuable.
Typical volunteer tasks include planting, weeding, watering, harvesting, processing produce. 

School groups, church groups, and other groups are accepted for larger volunteering projects. These opportunities tend to fill up quickly and need to be scheduled a month in advance. Please contact Sister Rose Ann Van Buren (rosievbop@sbcglobal.net) for more information regarding volunteering. A volunteer application from can be found using the search bar on our website’s homepage. Youth under 14 years old need to be with a parent.

 

Where we donate

Over the last eleven years Shepherd’s Corner Ecology Center has been able to donate more than 29,252 pounds of naturally grown produce. This produce is donated to local food pantries so that it can reach folks in need. Pantries that we partner with include GRIN (Gahanna Residents in Need), HEART (Helping East-side and Reynoldsburg Neighbors Today), as well as the Bishop Griffin Resource Center.