Camp Metigoshe at Pelican Lake in the beautiful Turtle Mountains of northern North Dakota created a unique opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to dig in the dirt and practice their faith at the same time. For the past three years Metigrowshe Garden has involved all campers in a gardening experience during their week at camp. Campers participate in a learning session about care of creation, God’s and our connection to the earth, and natural gardening techniques. They are then invited to get their hands dirty by completing gardening chores. The learning sessions include time to sample a variety of fresh picked produce and harvest more produce for use in the kitchen. At the end of each session a devotion connecting their new knowledge, deepening faith and experiences in the garden pulls everyone together, often while still munching on the fresh harvest! For example this past summer our camp theme was “Living in God’s Time” and the garden learning sessions looked at the cycle of life and death in the natural world. We discussed how each step in the cycle is important, including death, since death leads to new life. Who ever knew that Christ and compost had so much in common?
All produce, over 40 varieties of vegetables and berries, harvested during the camp season is prepared and eaten in our lodge helping to provide fresh and nutritious meals for our campers. Of course the strawberries never make it to the kitchen, the campers eat all of them right out in the garden! Once the camp season is done, fresh produce is used at the Metigoshe Ministries Retreat Center and also donated to the Bottineau Food Pantry. This season we used around 360 pounds of fresh produce at camp, donated 165 pounds to the Food Pantry and used another 100 + pounds at the retreat center.
It’s amazing to participate in the garden and to watch all types and ages of people come together to learn more about their faith, their food, and themselves as they work to make the garden productive and beautiful.
article and photos submitted by Laura Halvorson