Roy and Bettye Lofton, members of Holy Spirit Parish, had the idea for a community garden on a plot of land owned by the Church, located at Catholic Social Services of West Alabama. The Loftons shared their idea with others, including Deacon Fran Viselli, and together a small group started planning, supported by Fr. Deasy. The James Schaetzle family volunteered to plow the land to ready it for planting.
The name Jeremiah was chosen for the garden to honor beloved Pastor, Fr. Jeremiah (Jerry) Deasy, who has taught us all by word and deed to live out the teachings of the New Covenant, to make fruitful the earth given to us by God, and to feed the hungry as commanded of Christians in Matthew 25.
The goals for the garden are to produce healthy fresh fruits and vegetables, and support the charitable work of feeding the hungry, thereby demonstrating the Church’s commitment to the common good. The garden also serves as an educational/work site for students, and involves volunteers from the community at large.
Jeremiah's Community Garden grows a wide variety of crops each year, including kale, turnip greens, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, squash and pumpkins in the fall, and squash, eggplant, okra, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, peas, corn, basil, and watermelons in the summer.
The orchard continues to expand from the original four pecan trees to include pomegranates, blueberries, grape vines, muscadines, apples, pears, figs, and blackberries. Bee hives have also joined in to produce wonderful local honey while pollinating our plants.
The garden produces hundreds of pounds of produce each month, which is delivered to local charitable organizations who distribute to community members in need.