Many Mainers spent the weekend in the sun in their back yards, getting their gardens ready for planting.
And it wasn’t just home gardeners doing so.
There is another group who needs your help as they start working the soil.
The sight of robins bouncing along the lawn, rakes propped up to clean up the winter mess, and shovels to turn over the soil and start planting are all signs of spring.
These signs are just a short distance from Main Street in Bangor at Manna, as they begin to plant their garden to help stock their food pantry and soup kitchen.
“About three years ago,” said Manna’s Executive Director, Bill Rae. “We decided that, you know what, we have a whole community that’s not getting fresh vegetables, they’re not getting the things that they need to be healthy and we have all this lawn, so let’s turn it into a garden, so we turned it under, planted some seeds, and we’re able to feed the soup kitchen and have extra to give out to the food pantry and it was doing fantastic.”
Not only do they know what comes out of this soil in the fall will help feed some hungry bellies in the area, they also believe planting the soil this spring will help to feed some souls.
“We have people that live here,” said Rae, “that are in our rehab and they come and help plant the seeds and it’s all part of treatment. It feels good to put something back in the Earth and then eat what you’re picking out of it.”
They have enough seeds, but they need donations of seedlings to be able to transplant.
Rae says the cost savings of growing their own vegetables is immeasurable. “For a food pantry or soup kitchen, you’re probably talking thousands of dollars that we’d have to put out to go buy the vegetables and we don’t have the money, we just, we don’t, we’re struggling with what we have and all the cutbacks from Augusta so it’s hard to put that monetary on it.”
You can drop off seedlings this week at Manna’s 629 Main Street, Bangor, they are hoping to plant this weekend.