Area residents grow food for needy

June 23, 2009|by DAVE McMILLION

HAGERSTOWN -- Got land?

Plant on it.

That's the feeling of a group of area residents who have started to raise vegetables for growing numbers of people who need help putting food on the table.

Ed Kennedy, a member of LifeHouse Church Bethel on East Wilson Boulevard in Hagerstown, said he and a friend were discussing one day how to provide food for the needy.

They decided to start growing vegetables on an acre of ground on Garden View Lane in Maugansville owned by Clarence Horst, who is helping with the effort.


About 40 people helped plant the vegetables on the so-called Celebration Farm, and the plot now has corn, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini, onions and pumpkins, Kennedy said.

An example of its community-based support was illustrated when the Boonsboro High School FFA donated the tomato plants for the garden, Kennedy said.

About 15 people have been gathering recently to weed the garden, Kennedy said.

When the crops start coming in, the group plans to distribute the food to people they know are in need, said Kennedy, of Greencastle, Pa. Plans are in the works to distribute the food through groups like Food Resources, Kennedy said.

Kennedy said anyone is welcome to help the group and people can learn more about the effort by going to the project's Web site at

It is hoped that Celebration Farm will inspire similar efforts in the area.

"There's a lot of churches that have land they're not doing anything with," Kennedy said.

A corn maze has been planted at the site and revenues from admission to the attraction will be used to buy seed for future seasons and to help run charitable programs, Horst said.

"We're trying to make it all self-sustaining. It's pretty neat," Horst said.

On the Web:

To learn more about the effort or how to participate, go to

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