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A Bounty Blooms in Bethlehem

Posted by Administrator (admin) on Sep 12 2017
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This summer of 2017 was a busy and fruitful time for the Monocacy Farm Project, our sponsored ministry in Bethlehem that provides access to affordable, fresh produce for low-income families.

Thanks to an energetic army of supporters – rallied passionately by Sister Bonnie Marie Kleinschuster – who went online to vote daily this spring, the project received a $10,000 SPARK grant from the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation in June to continue enhancing the farm grounds at Monocacy Manor. Following the installation of a new water supply system last year, construction is now under way on a greenhouse.

Recently the 10-acre farm was visited by a group of fellows from the Mandela Washington Fellowship, a flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative. The Farm Project was among organizations that hosted 100 competitively selected fellows seeking to learn about innovation and positive change. Bob Drake, project manager, toured the group and answered their questions.

As summer winds down, the harvesting has begun. Ten community organizations now pass onto needy families produce grown at Monocacy, a true testament to the charism and mission of the School Sisters of St. Francis. Individuals who have leased out plots of land for the growing season are literally beginning to see the fruits of their labor, as well.

As word of the project’s good works spread, the spotlight widens. Monocacy Farm Project was the subject of an article published in June on Fig, a website that highlights local shopping, dining, arts and culture, history, education and community in several Pennsylvania towns. Earlier this month, the Farm Project was selected as August’s nonprofit partner and recipient of proceeds from a Hanover Township Northampton County Community Bingo.

It all comes to a celebratory crescendo on Sunday, October 1, with the second annual Monocacy Farm Food Festival, featuring local foods and artisans, hands-on activities and demonstrations, speakers, farm tours, music and activities for kids. The event runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A hearty crowd turned out for the inaugural event in 2016, and even more patrons are expected this year. Suggested admission donation is $5 per person or $10 per family.

Bob Drake, project manager, answers questions from Mandela Washington fellows who visited the farm this summer.

Last changed: Sep 14 2017 at 12:22 PM

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