By Andria Barrios

“Ever noticed Bay Life’s enormous backyard? What an  ideal place to plant a garden,” an organization called Seeds of Faith informed us.

Seeds of Faith seeks to share the joy and tasteful results of gardening.

Last season, from October to June, 1,700 lbs. of fresh produce was given away to a variety of partner charities. Seeds of Faith partners with Meals on Wheels, The Women’s Resource Center and many others to provide for the nutritional needs of these organizations.

“We have 60 plots in all, 30 of which are rented for a cost, and this money goes towards the maintenance of the other 30 plots,” explains Eleanor Saunders, head of Seeds of Faith. This expanse of rich, fertile soil is free of use for anyone, regardless of whether they attend Bay Life. Gardeners are responsible for their own tools, seeds and maintenance, but mulch, water and gardening advice are always provided.

Master gardener, Cindy Paulhus, is always willing to give plant growers helpful advice on how to make their fruits and vegetables flourish. Since Florida is an ideal winter growing state, participants are sure to walk away with plenty of luscious produce to enjoy.

“Worker Bees help maintain plots where we grow for our community partners. These volunteers can receive community service hours for participating,” Saunders informs. “We’ve had many come to help, from Boy Scouts to university students.”

This budding association also accepts donations, to fund the seeds and fertilizer. Contributions of seeds, tools, concrete blocks, and other gardening items are always welcome. In the near future, Seeds of Faith wishes to build a gazebo for events and a bridge for easier maneuvering.

“Our goal is not only to work and to donate, but also to educate the community on how to grow [and make] food for themselves,” reveals Saunders. This is why Seeds of Faith provides a recipe with each item donated.

To learn more about giving opportunities, or help garden yourself, contact Eleanor Saunders at 661-3696, extension 228, or visit Bay Life Church is located at 1017 Kingsway Rd, in Brandon.


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Kelly Legg has been writing for the Osprey Observer as a freelance writer for three years, and has recently taken on the role of managing editor for the Christian Voice newspaper. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications. She currently resides in Riverview with her husband and three children.