Ceremony held at community garden in Moreland
From STAFF REPORTS
The Blessing of the Crop was held at God's Little Acre, the community garden in Moreland, with music, prayer – and hope for a project that will bring people together and provide food for those who need it.
The blessing ceremony was held at the garden – located on city-owned property on Railroad Street – on the afternoon of April 10. The field had been plowed for the first time just a few days before by grower Allen Rhinehart.
Moreland Mayor Josh Evans offered greetings and said he hoped the garden would become a project that would provide food and a connection for people in the Moreland community. Benjamin Elliott, a member of Cub Scout Pack 48 in Moreland, and his sister, Meghan Elliott, a member of Girl Scout Troop 925 in Luthersville, led the pledge to the American flag.
Daniel Ausbun, pastor of First Baptist Church of Moreland, will lead a responsive reading. Tim Coleman, pastor of Brown’s Mill Church and organizer of the New Leaf Community Garden project in Newnan, will lead in prayer.
Moreland Mayor Josh Evans and Winston Skinner, MCAA president, will speak briefly. The event will last less than an hour so participants may hear landscape designer Claire Perko offer her insights about the garden property at the Moreland Mill at 7 p.m.
Roiella Beard, who lives in Moreland and has been singing most of her life, sang “In the Garden,” while accompanying herself on the mandolin. Beard has been inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame.
Melanie Stanley-Soulen, pastor of Allen-Lee Memorial United Methodist Church in Lone Oak, led a responsive reading incorporating many Bible passages relating to gardens and growth. The closing prayer was given by Tim Coleman, pastor of Brown's Mill Church in Newnan and a leader in the New Leaf Community Garden project.
The garden draws its name from one of the best-known novels by Erskine Caldwell, whose birthplace is a museum operated by MCAA. The book centers on a Ty Ty Walden, who digs holes all over his farm property in search of gold.
Skinner, who is assistant news editor at The Times-Herald, read a quote from the book and noted that the gold spoken of by Walden's father in the novel referred to what the rich Georgia earth could produce. Skinner said he hoped God's Little Acre will produce lots of food and help build a stronger sense of community as the project progresses.
He also said MCAA hopes to make the Blessing of the Crop an annual event.
Caldwell's widow, Virginia Caldwell Hibbs, has heard about the God's Little Acre garden project.
"That's an exciting thing to do," she said at her home in Oregon. "I think that's wonderful."