Tom and Paris Longmire, members of Maryville Cumberland Presbyterian Church (Presbytery of East Tennessee) where Tom’s father Ron Longmire has been pastor for 38 years, decided in March 2020 to grow their own home garden. Then Tom began to wonder how to branch out from helping put food on his family’s table to aiding others in need in the community.
Paris, a teacher at William Blount High School, recalled culinary arts students once cooked for Smoky Mountain Meals on Wheels which provides meals for senior adults living in Blount County, Tennessee, who live on their own but require assistance. In 2021, the Longmires, including daughter, Josie, 14, and son Sam, 10, began growing a 70-foot garden at Maryville Cumberland Presbyterian Church, with the harvest earmarked for Smoky Mountain Meal on Wheels. Last year, the congregation picked of 925 pounds of beans. This year, tomatoes and yellow squash were added to the garden.