Air, Dirt, and Worms

Air, Dirt, and Worms

By: Susan Naslund

Support the program through contributions to a SeedMoney grant going on now through December 15

As we seek to share God’s love by cultivating a healthy and peace-filled community at the Good Shepherd Ministry Center, we are always looking for different ways to lead our guests down a path to living more self-sustainable lives. Foothills UMC members John Elder and Kim Elliott have a vision to pave that path with air, dirt, and worms!

“What if pantry guests could learn to grow their own food?” asked John. “They could rely on their own gardens for produce instead of waiting in line at the pantry on Saturday mornings.” Many who visit the Center have yard space for a traditional garden, but others live in smaller apartments with little growing room. So, John will soon share his expertise about both soil and aeroponic gardening with the GSMC community. He has enlisted Master Gardener, Kim Elliott, to work alongside him. Already, a great site at the GSMC has been identified where a community garden can be built. And, there is an opportunity for you to support the garden financially through this crowd-sourcing grant:

Click here for more details and to make your financial contribution: Good Shepherd Garden - SeedMoney and share this link on your social media accounts. The new “Shepherd’s Garden” will provide an opportunity for four selected families to grow their own fresh greens and other vegetables, and harvest them immediately upon their being ready for consumption. It will also serve as an educational tool for these families to learn how to grow and take care of their favorite vegetables using both traditional soil and aeroponic gardens. Kim wants to add a composting element, as well, so that neighbors will have a place to leave their food scraps. “I love using worm tea for fertilizer,” said Kim.

John and Kim are looking forward to starting this pilot program in early 2022. Contact ​foothills@foothillsumc.org if you want to help. Pictures will be shared here soon showing the fruits of their labor.


Plants in aeroponic gardens rely on suspension in air rather than immersion in water or planted in soil. They require less water than hydroponic and soil gardens and produce healthy plants in as little as half of the time of soil gardens.

Back to Articles