A Garden of Hope

Jan 6, 2022 | Stories from the Diocese

St. Andrew’s Garden of Hope (Arlington) has been awarded the 2021 Golden Radish Award by the Friends of Urban Agriculture. The annual award celebrates those who work to support urban agriculture and social-safety-net efforts in the community. The Garden of Hope is a Plot Against Hunger garden that was established 13 years ago by St. Andrew’s parishioner Priscilla Carey, who was chief of staff at USDA and started the agency’s Plot garden on the Mall.

Every year, talented volunteers at St. Andrew’s cultivate and donate at least a thousand pounds of produce, sometimes more than 2,000 pounds. The garden expanded a few years ago to include an orchard of fruit trees. In 2021, the garden and orchard, and its volunteers grew more 3,694 pounds of fruits and vegetables, all for area food pantries. This abundant harvest equates to a monetary value of $6,280.

Today, their corps of volunteers extends beyond parishioners to include several people from the community. The Garden of Hope has partnerships with Marymount University’s Food for Thought student group, several other churches, and Arlington Junior League. In addition, they are thankful for the advice and assistance the garden has received over the years from Puwen Lee, Becky Halbe, and Kirsten Conrad.

“Their gardening expertise, as well as their leadership, enabled volunteers of all experience levels and ages to participate in this important ministry,” said the Rev. Dorota Wright-Pruski, rector of St. Andrew’s. “We are also grateful to Dr. Susan Agolini for coordinating Marymount University student volunteers and to Becky Halbe for helping to distribute the produce through Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ.”