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Hula-Hoops and Fried Chicken
Our Work
October 4

Hula-Hoops and Fried Chicken

Joan Pingel sighed as she walked into the Bossier City, LA, shopping mall on a Saturday in July and saw the extremely long line.

Evansville

Dan Sullivan, his mother Mary Jude Gerteisen, Elizabeth Grams (South Bend), Chris Vieck, Sophia Tragesser (Indianapolis) and John Earhart pass some time at the Praise Harvest farmstand.

by Elizabeth Grams

Photos: Ellen Earhart, Sophia Tragesser

The rhythmic buzzing of cicadas punctures the quiet of a summer Saturday morning. On the dewy grass, a crowd of 15 gathers to help set up the weekly farmstand for Praise Harvest, the community’s urban farm. After praying together, the volunteers spread out to gather the harvest from the vacant lots that God and hard work have turned into teeming plots. There are purple, orange and yellow carrots, green peppers, okra, red and green tomatoes, eggplant, banana peppers and greens. They wash the produce and lay everything out on tables beneath a tent canopy. Neighbors pull over in their cars and holler to ask what kinds of greens are available.

Bouquets of zinnias rest on a red-and-white checkered tablecloth, alongside a binder filled with pictures of sheet cakes and pull-apart cupcake cakes that Abby Earhart can bake to order. Children stop by on their bikes to say hello, then visit the chicken coop or play on an empty lot. Neighbors browse through the greens and chat. The morning light brightens, and the conversational hum rises. Old friends recognize one another and introductions are made. Some of the volunteers need to move on to other Saturday projects, but not before grabbing a runt cucumber or banana pepper and crunching into it—fresh and delicious!

Action volunteers Pena and Devyn, both students from Trinity Academy in Portland, cultivate the ground at Praise Harvest.

Girls hold a scarf during a water balloon toss.

Neighborhood boys offer leaves to the chickens in the chicken coop.

Action volunteers brave the heat and humidity to lay concrete for a new sidewalk that helps connect the backyards of community houses in Evansville. Chris Taylor (Corvallis) supervises the concrete work.

 

Responses

  1. Johnny Hynds says:

    I’m a member of the action group in Portland, my sister is Devyn who was shown in the picture. The trip was the highlight of my summer, we got so much done and I made many new friends. Thank you for sharing these photos, please show more. Thank you!

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