Our Coordinating Committee in Jacksonville, Florida has been thriving as they helped an incredible amount of churches this year battle through the seasonal weather and challenges that come with first year gardens. Let’s check in on how The Masters Touch Ministry finished out their first year with Black Church Food Security Network! Below is an interview with Eddie Hunter and Pat Laster of the Masters Touch Ministry, two of the Head Coordinators of the Garden Ministry.


How was your first season experience?


Ms. Pat: The experience for the first season itself was very enlightening. Although we attended some gardening classes, it was nothing like we expected, being moved from the classroom to becoming a part of an actual garden community support system.


Ms. Gloria: It was more inspiring to me than I realized it would be.  It was amazing to be able to give back with my work in the garden.


What have you gained from being part of the BCFSN?


Ms. Pat: The joining process itself wasn’t really hard, but because we were so involved with other Church & Pantry commitments, it did take some adjustment time. Being a part of the BCFSN has given me a new set of eye’s toward gardening and allowed me to have a fresh new vision on how to assist and bring our community together.


What is your background and previous experience with farming/gardening?


Ms. Gloria: My mother and father had a 22 acre farm with 12 kids.  We all had to get out and work the farm! We planted all kinds of vegetables and fruits and we raised chickens, hogs, ducks, and cows – to name a few.


What things did you do to prepare for the Fall?


Ms. Pat: Yes, the Lord works in mysterious ways…we were blessed with a Master Gardener, seedlings were started, our garden was enlarged and our Fall/Winter Garden plants are already over halfway planted. Just to name a few: Collards, Mustards, Broccoli, Cabbage, Turnips, Sweet Potatoes and some Herbs. We would not have made it this far without BCFSN guidance and our Master Gardener picking up mantel and working with the few volunteers we had in place.


How do you feel about the upcoming Soil to Sanctuary Market? [The Church will hold the first ever Soil to Sanctuary Market in Jacksonville on Sunday, November 20, 2022.]


Ms. Pat: We’re feeling pretty good about our Soil to Sanctuary Festival! With the help of Stephen from the BCFSN and vendors accepting our request to participate, everything is being put in place. Of course, taking in consideration, some hiccups, we’re in a good place.


What do you see in the future for Masters Touch and the garden?


Ms. Pat: The Masters Touch Garden has been licensed as a Small Garden and the future of the Garden is looking, how should I say, Very Fruitful!  We walk by faith not by sight so my saying is and always will be “I see so far beyond what I see”. I can’t out give Him, can you?


Ms. Gloria: I only hope that young people come to understand that what Masters Touch is doing is a blessing and I want them to learn how they can help carry this legacy on.

We always look forward to seeing this Ministry’s growth! And this can be YOU next season!

For more information about our Coordinating Committees or if you are interested in starting one in your local region, contact us at [email protected]. To reach out to our local Jacksonville Committee, please email Stephen at [email protected].