Worms Blessed for Garden Work

The Rev. Randy Timmerman, right, pastor of Methodist churches in Cheriton, Capeville, and Cape Charles, blesses the worms, held aloft Sunday in plastic cups by more than 100 supporters and children at New Roots Youth Garden, Cape Charles.

Story by Jim Ritch –
Submitted Photos by Paula Henry – 

Supporters and children gathered Sunday for the annual Blessing of the Worms at the New Roots Youth Garden, Cape Charles. 

Every one of the nonprofit’s 96 plastic cups bearing worms and dirt were picked up by attendees, said Phil Goetkin, of Cape Charles, president. 

The cups were then raised by the crowd for the worms to receive the blessing of the Rev. Randy Timmerman, pastor of Methodist churches in Cheriton, Capeville, and Cape Charles. 

Volunteers also distributed sunflower seeds, the national flower of Ukraine, to show solidarity and interest children in geography and news, said Goetkin. 

Josie Woods, granddaughter of Paul and Ginger Strong, of Cape Charles, plays with a worm.

This year, the organization’s 15 volunteers hope to strengthen preCOVID-19 relationships with Cape Charles Christian School, Kiptopeke Elementary, and home-schoolers. 

The goal will be to attract more children back to the garden for Thursday sessions of instruction and hands-on gardening. 

The garden helps children appreciate fresh vegetables by having them grow to maturity, pick them, and help sell them at the group’s farmers market, Goetkin said. 

The group also emphasizes community spirit and uses the market to demonstrate math and other concepts.

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