The youth of Bethany will plant watermelons and cantaloupes in the OVB/Bethany Melon Garden Monday, 15 May, at 4 PM. They can use the help of adults, too, so keep the date in mind; more information will be available soon, so if you want to have a good time, come out to the garden and help the youth. Kelli Bailey and Tiffany Bennett are the leads.

The garden, located on Don Lee Farms land fronting River Road along the Neuse River, will grow watermelons and cantaloupes. During the growing season, there will be plenty to do. The garden will need to be weeded and watered. At harvest time, the watermelons will be picked, loaded, and transported to Bethany’s pavilion for sorting and boxing, then taken to a food pantry for distribution, either Fishes and Loaves in Oriental, or Religious Community Services (RCS) in New Bern. This year, Bethany will have the help of our sister church across the street, Anointed Remnant Church of Christ (Disciples of Christ).

Operation Veggie Box (OVB) began at Bethany in 2013 with a vegetable garden on land that Don Lee Farms let it use. That first garden still is the most productive one of all the gardens that OVB has planted since. OVB’s mission is to provide nutritional food–fresh vegetables and fruit–to those who suffer from a food deficit. In each bag or box distributed is a spiritual message assuring the recipient of Christ’s love and that the Holy Spirit is with them.

This year, the Corn Jam and OVB Annual Event will be held the same day, Friday, 30 June. Plans are for volunteers to pick fresh corn grown for OVB by Don Lee Farms, tentatively at 6 AM. The corn will be transported to the boxing sites at Bethany’s pavilion and at RCS in New Bern, where tentatively at 10 AM volunteers will place the sweet corn, onions, white potatoes and sweet potatoes and spiritual messages in 1,000 boxes. The boxes will be distributed throughout Pamlico County.

Volunteer groups that will help with the Corn Jam include campers from Camp Seafarer, campers from Camp Don Lee, the Society of St. Andrew in Durham, and Religious Community Services in New Bern. Of course, it is hoped that many of us at Bethany will volunteer, both to pick corn and/or to box later that day, as well as to help the youth with melon-garden operations.

Other OVB gardens are at Arapahoe Charter School (green garden), Oriental United Methodist Church, Anointed Remnant Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ (square-foot garden) and at Pamlico Community College (tomato plus garden).

Suppliers of vegetables for the OVB Annual Event are Flatland Ag (5,000 lbs. of onions), Don Lee Farms/Neuse River Turf Farm (20,000 to 30,000 lbs of sweet corn), Sackett Potatoes (white chipping potatoes), Tull Hill Farms (sweet potatoes) and the Society of St. Andrew.

OVB welcomes volunteers both for planning and operations! For information, please contact David Bailey, (252) 229-6228, david.bailey@operationveggiebox.org or Mac Harris, (252) 671-7615, mac.harris@operationveggiebox.org.


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