This past Saturday, Mill Village Farm's Sullivan Street Garden had it's first community farm stand. The youth partners helped organize and run the entire event, from planning to harvesting to packaging. Morrell Stokes, our Farm Operations Partner, harvested and packaged the produce the day before. While Marcellus Stokes our Education and Events Partner, helped to set up the booth. Jimmy Thompson our Marketing Partner, spread the word about the event. Shannon Johnson our Business and Accounting Partner, managed our sales throughout the morning by weighing produce and accounting for product sales. It was the first time for the four youth to see all their hard work reap a harvest and make a profit.
Our farm stand reminds me of a parable we spoke of during our work in the garden. The parable goes like this... A master had eight bags of gold to distribute to his servants, five bags to one servant, two to another, and one to the last. The servant with five bags took his money to work and gained five more. Likewise, the servant with two bags took his bags and put it to work and brought back two more. However, the last servant took his one bag and buried it underground for safety. The master finally came back and saw what each of his servants have done with his gold. With the first two, he was pleased and said, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master." However, with the last servant he was less than pleased and responded with disappointment and anger.
This practical parable told by Jesus was not just for spiritual nourishment, but for everyday practical living. He has given us each unique talents. Some to market produce, some to keep track of money, and some to manage our garden. Most importantly, we have all been called not to waste the gifts we have been given, but to use them to reap a harvest. We were able to see just that on Saturday. Investing our talents and making a profit. In fact, we sold out everything in just a few hours and made over $200. All the while we provided seasonal, locally-sourced, and organically-managed produce in a community that doesn't have easy access to these products. We look forward to the coming months, working and investing our God-given talents.