Monday afternoon as Paul and I were cooling off in the air conditioning, we were feeling overwhelmed. With all the rain and the hot sunshine we’ve been getting, the weeds were growing faster than the two of us could possibly keep up with. Between the weeds and the bugs we were worried that we would loose a lot of plants.
Then, ten minutes later the phone rang. It was one of the guys from the job (we work construction) At first we thought he was calling because he needed food but then he said, “No, I want to come to your farm and Help you.” He said that he would be out on Saturday.
Then we were at a friend’s house picking up some food that was being given to us for the church grocery group that was coming to pick up veggies and eggs on Wednesday for their food drive. She had seen me ask Baker Creek Seeds about squash bugs on Facebook and she had made up an organic spray for me to try. (It’s working pretty awesome on the test plants BTW) She had also seen that we needed bags to put veggies in and had a few bags of bags waiting for us.
The man upstairs answer prayers and worries so fast sometimes.
Wednesday one of my High School teachers came by. Her Church Grocery Club collects food the third Wednesday of every month and gives food to people in need. She drove from about an hour away and we were able to give her 7 dozen eggs (split into half dozen cartons so more people could have eggs), 40 bags of fresh cut kale and a whole bunch of fresh yellow squash and zucchini. She messaged me later on Facebook saying: “Everyone loved their fresh vegetables! And the eggs were a big hit! We’ve never given eggs before.”
Paul and I were so happy that what we have to give makes people happy!
On Friday afternoon, we made our first purchase using some of the donated money from people who believe in our dream. At the Seaford, Delaware, Lowes they had some small tillers out front, used and marked down. We talked to a manager about the price and he literally gave us half off!
We have a larger, walk behind tiller on the farm that we use between the rows, but getting between the plants has always been done by hand. With the new little tiller we can get between tight rows and even around plants. It’s awesome and it’s a back and time saver, instead of hand weeding one row a day, we can do many rows and keep up with the weeds much more efficiently.
On Saturday morning help arrived. The guy from the job had brought his cousin and his son and they worked in the garden with us from 7:30 to 11:00. We worked together weeding out all the watermelon and half of the cantaloupes. It’s amazing how much can be done with help, the four of us worked the row and his son took all the weeds to the chickens (so they could have some fresh greens and eat all the bugs LOL)
When they were leaving they didn’t want anything, but we insisted that they take some food home with them for their party on Sunday celebrating the baptism of his youngest son and Fathers Day.
I can’t wait for the day to come when we can grow the whole farm in fresh food and feed so many more people. Thank you to those that have believed in our calling, let no man go hungry, feeding everyone, One Row at a Time!
Up with the sun all the picking is done off to the Christian Crises Center we go!
We have a truckload of all kinds of vegetables and fourteen dozen eggs.
It feels good what we are doing, but why is it that everytime I go there I leave feeling like I want to do more?
It’s hard to see so many in need but I do love the happy faces when I show up. I can feel the glimmer of hope and love from those that have come to know us. This is our third year and I am determined to make it our best.
Life is not all about material items we just seem to have a need for. Life is expressing who you are and what you can do to give others what they need to be who they are and be the best they can be.
Love for one another, a smile, a nice jesture, it doesn’t take much. You never know how the person you just met or past on the street feels or their situation. That simple smile just might be what they needed.
Hi everyone, my name is Paul Barnes. My wife, Katrina, and I have land on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. For the last three years we have been growing food for our local homeless shelters and soup kitchens.
This year looks like it might just be our best one yet. We even built a green house to start our plants indoors so we can grow our crops earlier.
Growing for the hungry!
I will add more photos of what’s growing soon!
The other day, we took 8 dozen farm fresh eggs and a load of kale to the Christian Crisis center early in the morning. The shelter in Salisbury has the ability to handle almost all the food we take them and I always feel like our donation was appreciated and needed. When I delivered the food I walked into the kitchen:
Me, “Hi, good morning” Then he saw the dozens of eggs I brought.
The cook in the kitchen, “I just opened the refrigerator and said ‘uh- oh we need eggs!’ ”
They are so excited to be back serving families in need after being closed for a year for repairs and remodeling. They looked so happy we didn’t forget about them and that we were still growing our garden to help provide them with fresh, organic, pesticide and GMO free food!
Right now we are growing:
And more will be planted as the season continues 🙂
We would like to expand and grow our operation to help feed more hungry children and families in need healthy, organic food.
The shelters we grow food for currently, one shelter feeds 1200 people a month and the other shelter houses and feeds 50 families a day.
We spend our extra time and money growing food for the homeless and the hungry. Fresh food is so important for people in need. Canned and non perishable foods are not the best diet for anyone, especially growing children.
Last year we were blessed with a large amount of chain link fence that a contractor was throwing away so we used an old horse shed and the fence and now we have chickens and are able to give eggs as well. We have a small flock of hens, laying up to 30 eggs a day – farm fresh, organic, and semi-free-range (we have to protect our girls from foxes, rogue dogs and stray cats – some of the hens like to wander out of their safe zone)
We have 13 acres total but we can only grow and manage about 2 acres. We don’t have the equipment or man power to use the whole piece of land.
It would be awesome to expand our operation and to be able to feed more people. I hope that in the future there will be trucks rolling off the farm, loaded with fresh food heading to feed hungry families and children.
As I’m sure you can imagine, it takes more than just three people, a rake, a tractor and one disk to make growing 13 acres of food possible! I have never asked for help in my life and it feels awkward doing so but I know that with more help we can do so much more!
So we started a GoFundMe page to get donations to help buy seeds, plants, tools, make tractor repairs, buy implements, etc…
Even if we don’t raise money we will continue on a small scale. For now our neighbor farmer uses the rest of the land and so it doesn’t become over grown . We had to do something with the extra land our tractor couldn’t bush hog it anymore.
Every dollar you donate will put food in a child’s mouth, help that mother and father feed their family, and helps us help the shelters by feeding people in need the fresh, healthy food they can’t afford or don’t receive.
I am pleased to say this has been a great growing season!
There has been a lot of food given to the shelters and to a lot of family’s in need.
We have been picking regularly, here is a photo of us picking just a sample of what has come out of the garden.
There are a lot of family’s that need help, not money, food.
If you grow a garden then why not grow an extra row?
Take food to the shelter in your neighborhood.
An extra hour or two in your garden can make a big difference to those in need.
We harvested about half of our back kale crop this morning.
We filled ten 30 gallon bags in about 1 hour. Kale is so easy to pick when it’s coming out to clear the patch for the next crop. We simply pulled the whole plant, gave a twist and separated the leafy tops from the roots and stems, then the leaves go in the bag and the rest goes to compost.
We put all the bags in the back of the truck and headed to the Joseph House in Salisbury, Maryland.
Joseph House Crisis Center
The Crisis Center provides emergency and on-going assistance for individuals and families in need. It opened in 1984 to serve the poor from the Lower Shore counties of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.
The fresh food we bring is always appreciated. They provide food to roughly 1200 people every month!
Finally got the time to build a website to hopefully inspire others to do the same, grow an extra row for the hungry.
This is our second season.
I hope we can do as good or better but there are only two of us with some occasional help.
Please join in and share your thoughts.
Please grow an extra row and take it to a shelter they need fresh food.
So many eat canned salty food most of all they receive is non perishables.