The Chester Congregational Baptist Church Outreach Garden was started in 2016 by Teresa Rogers who had a vision of transforming unused space on the church property into gardens. The main intent was to help those in the community who were unable to grow or purchase fresh vegetables. The project began with six simple raised beds and a pergola all built by Teresa.
In the spring of 2017, four additional raised beds were added and Donna Foote came on board to assist with the planning and care of the garden. The Outreach Garden continued to grow and in 2018 eight additional beds and flowers were added. A wooden fence was constructed by Teresa Rogers and Herb Rowell and landscape fabric and stone dust were installed to define the paths and control the weeds. The finishing touches were completed in 2019 with crushed stone added to all the paths. These paths were dedicated in memory of Gladys Nicoll, an avid gardener and longtime member of the Church.
Every summer, there is bench in front of the garden with fresh vegetables that have been harvested for anyone to take. Each month the garden donates fresh vegetables to the Chester Food Pantry and also delivered to those who are confined to their homes.
It has now become a late summer tradition to celebrate a bountiful harvest with a complimentary “Taste of the Garden” event in the church vestry. All of the food is prepared using vegetables that have been grown in the garden. Some of the produce is also used to make pickles and salsa to support our Christmas in the Village fair.
All are welcome to volunteer their time. Please contact the church office for more information.