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Growing in faith

Master gardener Dale Longfellow shares gardening information that will help members of the Victory Robins 4-H Club and Valley of Peace Lutheran Church and their mission garden. Metro Lutheran photo: Bob Hulteen

When the members of Valley of Peace Lutheran Church (ELCA), Golden Valley, Minnesota, were looking for partners for a planned community garden, they first thought of the public school just a block away. “But we were concerned that the school calendar and the growing season didn’t match up well,” explained Dan Johnson, a member of Valley of Peace involved in the mission gardening project.
Then Johnson met Amy Niemann, a member of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church (LCMS), Plymouth, and a volunteer with Victory Robins 4-H Club. “I know who can help with this,” she told Johnson, volunteering her burgeoning 4-H club members.
As a result, the “figurative groundbreaking” of the Victory-Peace Garden on a south-facing terraced hill on the property of Valley of Peace was held April 3.

This south-facing terrace on Valley of Peace property will be the site of the mission garden. Metro Lutheran photo: Bob Hulteen

Seven 4-foot by 6-foot raised beds will serve as the inaugural gardening plot. Plans include growing a number of different vegetables for the mission garden. Half of the eventual harvest will be donated to PRISM (People Responding in Social Ministry) of Golden Valley for use by the food shelf. The other half will be used by volunteer families and 4-H Club members to educate youth of the club and the congregation about gardening.
Two Hennepin County master gardeners, Dale Longfellow and Nancy Dierdorf, offered initial training about soil temperature and yield production for aspiring gardeners at the kick-off event. In addition, about a dozen young people planted seeds in small cardboard containers they made themselves. Eventually, these plants will be added to the raised beds of the garden.
For more information, contact Amy Niemann at or 763/537-6535, or Dan Johnson at

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