NORTH STAR — Jim Moeller, of Springfield, Ohio and his sister Joann Eilerman, of North Star, were participating in what Moeller refers to as, “the unseen movement of people in any society or culture” on Saturday.
They were happily volunteering to work at St. Maria’s Community Farm, a produce stand located on the corner of State Route 705 and U.S. Route 127, Leo Wehrkamp’s Happy Corner Garage lot, in North Star. Folks donate fresh fruits, vegetables and baked goods. People can take what they need, or leave a donation. All proceeds and leftover produce are given to the St. Vincent De Paul Society, in Dayton and to other area soup kitchens. The farm is operated by people of the catholic parishes of St. Nicholas, of Osgood and St. Louis, of North Star. It is open every Saturday throughout the end of September, from 9 – 11 a.m. and sometimes until noon, depending on the crowd.
The offerings vary, depending on the crop yield. Saturday’s offerings included cabbage, zucchini, broccoli, green peppers, pickles, onions and homemade cupcakes.
“Later we will have green beans and sweet corn and the end of the summer will bring gourds and pumpkins,” Eilerman said. “We will have watermelons and everything the gardeners can grow.”
Moeller commented on the contagious nature of pitching in and helping folks. He participates in a soup kitchen in Springfield, Ohio that feeds at least 500 people a week. He said soup kitchens are becoming self-sustaining.
“An amalgamation of human beings of every walk come there,” he said.”One night I was serving our meal of prime rib. Yes – prime rib for a soup kitchen that someone donated! Another night I was serving fried chicken and it looked like we had a couple hundred more yet to be served. We ran out of chicken and we were ramping up the cheese sandwiches when a guy knocked on the side door and he said, ‘I’m sorry I was late, I’ve got fried chicken on my pick -up truck’. It’s marvelous.”
“We had something similar happen last summer,” Eilerman said. “I had three people come one day wanting rhubarb, and it was out of season. Before we closed up, this car drove in and a guy got out with two big shopping bags of rhubarb, put it on the table, got in his car and left before I could ask his name.”
“It is such a pleasure to have people coming together,” Moeller said. “And of course, there is all this talk about, ‘Why don’t these people get a job?’ It is my experience that people judging those who need to go get a job, usually those soup kitchens and that ministry didn’t grow or succeed – it stumbles. Where you open the door, and you do it as unto the Lord, you don’t have to pound your Bible or the pavement; you just do it. It softens peoples’ hearts; it makes them feel. We can be as rancorous a society as we can be, but we need something to soften our hearts towards each other, to laugh, to talk and to smile.”
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