Harvest Festival celebrates success of church's Growing Project

October 25, 2007

WOLFSVILLE, Md. - Members of the local Grossnickle Growing Project held their Second Annual Harvest Festival on Sunday, Oct. 14. at the Growing Project farm in Wolfsville.

The festival was a celebration of a successful year of raising funds for Foods Resource Bank (FRB), a national organization whose mission is to provide food sustainability programs in the developing world.

The local project is one of 190 Growing Projects throughout the United States, grassroots efforts to raise money by growing a crop and donating the proceeds from the sale of the crop to FRB. In its second year, the Grossnickle project raised corn, wheat and hay on 55 acres on a farm near Wolfsville.

The project is a partnership of four Churches of the Brethren: Grossnickle, Hagerstown, Welty, and Harmony. Individuals and businesses support the growing of the crop by sponsoring the costs to farm an acre of the land. At harvest time, the proceeds from the crop are collected and donated to FRB. This year's project will bring in over $20,000; in past years the total amount raised has been matched by a grant from USAID, the government agency that oversees aid to the developing world. Corporate sponsors of the program this year are C. Basil Grossnickle Insurance Inc., Colonial Jewelers, Church of the Brethren General Board, Hagerstown Medical Labs, Hartman Roofing, Interstate Batteries, Pryor Mechanical and the Washington County Farm Bureau.


This year, the project is supporting a program in Eastern Zambia. One of the goals of this program is to provide food security to 7,000 households, defined as helping each household harvest enough food to last until the next harvest. "Enough" is defined as having a stock of at least one starch and one vegetable to last for a whole year.

A second goal is to provide primary health care to families by ensuring that all children under five years old will maintain normal weights. There is an ongoing program for weighing each child on a regular basis and assisting chronically malnourished children by increasing consumption of food crops with high nutritional values.

Third, there is a program to increase awareness about the transmission of HIV/AIDS and to assist caregivers of children who are orphaned as a result of the disease.

The festival featured scarecrow making, Zambian games, American and Zambian foods, and a hayride to watch the harvesting of the corn crop. There was a service of thanksgiving to praise God for a good crop, and to ponder and pray for the hungry people in our world. A cake auction featured 25 home-baked cakes and raised $1,950.

For more information about FRB or the Growing Project, please call the Grossnickle Church of the Brethren at 301-293-9516, or Patty Hurwitz at 301-293-1736.

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