Got Dirt?

 The Potato Project - 2012
February  09, 2012

   There are many forces over which an individual can exercise no control whatsoever. A farmer plants a seed in the ground and the seed sprouts and grows. The weather, the winds, the elements cannot be controlled by the farmer, and the result is never a sure thing. So what does the farmer do? Always one plants. Again and again it is worked with the ultimate confidence, and assurance, that even though the seed may not grow to fruition, one always knows seed does grow and it does come to fruition. The task of people, who work for the Kingdom of God, is to WORK for God in His Kingdom. The result beyond this demand is not in their hands. One who keeps his eyes on the results cannot give oneself wholeheartedly to the task, however or complex that task may be.





 The Potato Project 2012




Got Dirt?

It’s a simple question Got Dirt?

   No, not the scoop, or the latest gossip go’n round the pews, but YOU - Got Dirt?

In 2011 The Potato Project finished the 13.2 Acre harvest just in time as the October Halloween snow came the very next weekend. During harvest season we difficult times with rain and mud, we forced our way through less then prime harvest conditions at times. Some 988 volunteers came out to help in harvest sessions, and the majority were new groups! We delivered excess of 80,000 pounds of potatoes and squash to local food banks and pantries for neighbors in need. That's two tractor trailer loads - WOW!

   First there was the wet Spring, and then the early Summer drought which started, followed by Colorado Potato Beetle infestation stress, and then the rains came. Many potato plots in the region experienced complete crop failure! At harvest, we had just enough volunteers ready to help serve and finish the harvest of 2011, but if we had not started with Walk-in Fridays every week since July 22, we would not have finished harvest. We were able to modernize again behind the kind donation of a new Kubota L3800HST 37HP Tractor from Dave and Naomi Owen of Trinity ELC Kutztown, and we made some post season equipment upgrades to enable us to do more with the L3800; a 3 point disc, 1 row cultivator, bigger sprayer, and slowly getting Pastor Keith's bride, Deb's, Uncle Gordon's donated McCormick PTO driven Potato Harvester rebuilt for reliable harvest service. We also plan to put a hydraulic RAM onto the McCormick to make it a safer one-person operation.

   We were at our limit in 2011 harvest in respect to our infrastructure and how we harvest potatoes. We streamlined and did mostly bulk harvest into bins. These bins went mostly to The Greater Berks Food Bank who rebagged and distributed the potatoes, in partnership. This was a good thing which enabled us to finish harvest as well. With the new Kubota, we think we can do something more. We can serve more. We can help more. We can Walk more. We need lots of things to do this, if we think we can. We need funding. We need more equipment. We need the same and additional help for seed cutting in the spring, and especially the harvest sessions throughout the late summer and fall seasons. We can do more acres if permitted, by planting additional acres outside of capable potato harvest, in seed corn which can be sold, helping sustain the project with any excess going directly to local food pantries and TGBFB. We need a lot to be able to do more. But most of all, we need more dirt! - Got Dirt?

   We need more acres of land put into this program. Enough to help support The Project, enough to be able to rotate the potato plots and keep doing what we can, helping our neighbors in need, and walking in The Word. No, we cannot afford to buy or rent land. We are not that kind of funded Charity, it’s just us – we the people of The Church. But if you know of any land which might be available in our East Berks County Mission District, or of any additional equipment, or for use, or have some and want to pitch in, please contact us as soon as possible! We’d be happy to receive almost anything workable you might like to provide. - Got Dirt? At this point we are looking for up to 30 acres total 6-8 in potatoes, and the additional acres into seed corn, depending on your response and commitments. It can be as little as one acre if we can work it OK. As of this writing February 9th 2012 we have just short of 5 acres committed for potatoes this year, as we loose ZMC totally to farmer's rotation. - Owen's 2A, Raudenbush 2A, PK's .2A, Lilienthal .6A, and an unmeasured 3A into corn this year possibly of Rev. Werley's, and adjunct partnership 1.5A at Lichtenwalner he'll try potatoes in again this season. So, - Got Dirt?

   If we are going to do this thing, we must commit to ordering seed potatoes, fertilizer, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides before February is done. So we need the dirt. We need the funds. And we need your comments and comments, NOW. So ask around. Ask your congregations. Ask owners of any seen fallow land maybe, to see if they - Got Dirt?

Contact: IHartHarvest, Inc. – The Potato Project `Come and see...'

> Walt, & Linda Zawaski, D.M., 610-944-9316,

> Rev. Keith Rohrbach, Trinity ELC Kutztown, 610-683-3490,

> Rev. Paul Hansen, Zion Moselem / St. Peters, 610-683-68453,


Let us see what Walk might be done - Got Dirt?


Bulletin and Newsletter Editors:

Please if you are willing, consider placing this call, in your newsletters, and spread the word:



Got Dirt?

The Potato Project 2012 would like to answer the call to provide more for more neighbors in need. To do so we need many things, among the primary need is additional farmable ground put into our program to support potatoes and seed corn in our district. We need more funding, more help, and more farm equipment, or live assistance commitments doing the tractor farming. If you can help please contact your Pastor, Walt or Linda Zawaski, Rev. Keith Rohrbach, Rev. Paul Hansen, Rev. Bob Machamer, Rev. Vickie Reeser, Rev. Ned Dresher, or anyone who may know of what we're doing, as soon as you can.


Google: IHartHarvest 610-944-9316 , Walt, & Linda Zawaski - Diaconal Minister

Rev. Keith Rohrbach, Trinity ELC Kutztown PA, 610-683-3490,

Rev. Paul Hansen, Zion Moselem & St. Peter’s ELC, Rural Kutztown, 610-207-6252,

Thank you. – Walt Zawaski, Exec. Director.