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Garden grows with faithful work of Arnolia members

A new idea has sprouted this summer at Arnolia United Methodist Church on Joppa Road. The congregation is growing vegetables and herbs.

Church member Pricilla Calvert came up with the idea when the church's day care closed and the playground was removed — leaving a barren, empty plot of ground.

She said the produce will be sold at below-market prices to the congregation, making it a significant value to members on fixed incomes.

Proceeds from this year's sale will be used to fund next year's garden, which is expected to be larger.

Currently, there are cherry tomatoes, basil, parsley and rosemary nearly ready to harvest and all with donated supplies and man power.

Home Depot at Perring Parkway and Oakleigh Road donated most of the supplies; assistant manager Corrie Grammer orchestrated that donation.

Calvin Guthrie built raised beds, and master gardener George Hartig — with help from Ed Calvert, Junior Miller and Jason Joseph — selected the best area for the garden and prepared the soil with the correct balance of nutrients and fertilizer.

Vegetable plants were donated by Mary Rettman and Virginia Cox.

Maintenance is also a team effort. Evelyn Hartig treats the plants to eliminate uninvited garden pests. Lynda Bracey and Bill and Christie Grape weed and care for the gardens.

Earlier, the Hartigs and their daughter Michele Barnycz, who is also a master gardener, designed and planted the church's new landscaping in front of the church and a rose garden on the side of the building.

Calvert expressed her thanks to everyone who helped with the project.

Meanwhile, as we sing the praises of this garden, the church is currently searching for a director of music and organist.

For additional information about job requirements and responsibilities, call the church office 410-665-7005 or email aumcsprc@gmail.com.

Some 92 youngsters participated in an imaginary trip to Egypt during the last week of June at Hiss United Methodist Church's vacation Bible school.

Upon arrival each evening, children dressed in Egyptian collars and tunics and were given pouches for their coins.

They played Egyptian games and made sarcophaguses, hieroglyphics, leather headbands and more. If they memorized the Bible verse each day, they earned a gem for their collar.

The activities helped them learn about the Old Testament character, Joseph, and his travels from prison to the palace.

Volunteers who made the program possible included program planner Dale Salah and her committee members, music leaders Jim Shiplet and Pastor Mark Smiley, as well as Cindra Shiplet and Matthew Tonelson and his son.

Tom Bird baked bread with the children on a saj with starter dough, similar to that used thousands of years ago, Norm Whiteley made bricks with the children and Pastor George Weitzel led the daily dramas.

As a mission project, the children and their families donated school supplies, Spanish story books and money to be used when the church participates in a mission trip to Honduras later this summer.

Parents were invited to a closing program where they could see the work and projects from the week.

Children ages 3 to 6 are invited to the program, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, at Cromwell Valley Park, 2002 Cromwell Valley Road, on Saturday, July 16, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Youngsters and their chaperone will learn all about spiders, take a nature walk, make a spider and web craft and enjoy a spider snack. Cost is $2 for members; $4 for non-members. Call 410-887-2503 to make a required reservation.

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