June 29, 2012. High Country United Church of Christ was a driving force behind the establishment of F.A.R.M. Cafe from the restaurant’s inception. And now that the pay-what-you-can cafe is up and running, the church is continuing to support its mission by donating fresh produce grown in the church garden.
Last fall, even as F.A.R.M. Cafe board members were still negotiating terms of a lease with Boone Drug for space in the downtown pharmacy, church council members voted to create a garden on church grounds for the purpose of growing vegetables for the fledgling nonprofit. Seven 14×3-foot raised beds were constructed and filled with soil, and a fence was erected to keep out wildlife. Materials for the garden were paid for with member contributions received separately from the church’s budgeted income. The children’s Sunday school class built a scarecrow, and church members donated seeds. Volunteers have tended and watered the garden on a rotating schedule. The first harvest, collard greens, was delivered to F.A.R.M. Cafe on June 25. Among the produce to be donated later this summer are beans, peas, tomatoes, squash, beets, chard and spinach. The church is considering adding an in-ground garden next year to further support the restaurant.
F.A.R.M. Cafe (which stands for Feed All Regardless of Means) opened May 1. Executive Chef Renee Boughman says, “We are off to a great start! We’re very appreciative of the church’s generosity and for produce which is also coming from the garden at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.” Boughman explained that the initial plan for F.A.R.M. Cafe was put into motion by High Country United Church congregation members. She added that members of the church make up the majority of volunteers who help keep the cafe operational. “F.A.R.M. Cafe literally would not exist if it weren’t for this congregation,” she said.
High Country United Church of Christ is located at 8235 U.S. Hwy 421 west of Boone. Learn more about the church at www.highcountryucc.org.
Image 1: High Country United Church member Joan Brannon delivers fresh collard greens to F.A.R.M. Cafe’s Executive Chef Renee Boughman, the first of many vegetable donations to be made by the church this season.