Keizer church fosters community through gardening

Keizer Church of Christ’s community gardens near, Keizer Little League Park, are available to everyone, not just church members.

Keizer Church of Christ created their neighborhood garden in hopes of connecting with their neighbors.

“Once the Keizer Station Apartments were built, it gave us the opportunity to think about other things we could to do connect with and serve our neighbors,” said Associate Minister Howard Joans.

They decided to create a garden because they felt it was a desire that wasn’t being met in the community.

“There’s a lot of folks that live in apartments that like to garden but don’t have a place to do it,” Joans said.

The garden is open to all members of the community, whether they attend Keizer Church of Christ or not.

“We have a few members from our congregation that garden and we have a few members from the Keizer Station Apartments that are gardening, but we have room for more,” Joans said.

The garden is starting its fourth, and according to Joans, best year.

“This is the summer that we’ve had the most infrastructure and organization,” Joans said.

They have 20 four-by-eight-foot raised beds available for rent. For $25, an individual or family can rent a box from mid-April through November. The money covers the cost of the water.

After paying the initial fee, the box is turned over to the gardener’s custody where they can grow whatever they’d like. There are hand tools out in the garden that the gardeners are welcome to use. 

“They can grow fruits, vegetables, flowers, any of that,” Joans said. He said people have grown everything from beans to strawberries.

It is still early on in the growing season and the garden has room for more.

“Please come garden with us,” Joans said. “Our little title is Growing Together and we really do think the garden is a way of serving people who are our neighbors and creating an opportunity to make friendships with people we don’t know yet,” Joans said.