Garden Update

The garden at my church is coming along great!  We had our first workday this past Saturday to do some weeding.  There are more weeds to be pulled, but we made a good start of it.  I keep praying that we will begin to draw interest from folks in our community who want to participate.  I just talked with one woman who saw a recent article that the local city paper ran based on a press release I sent them.  Hopefully she’ll be able to join us for our next workday, and will share the information with friends as well!

As of last week, our preschooler’s came up to plant sunflowers, watermelon, and pumpkin.  It was fun to watch their various reactions to actually planting the seeds in the ground and covering them up.  Tempting to draw analogies to John 12:24, but that would probably not have been very effective with three & four year olds!
The big plants on the right are zucchini squash, which are likely to take over pretty much everything else.  Beyond them (above them) is another row with tomato plants.  The row on the near left is radishes, with corn coming up nicely just to the right of that.  
It’s hard to see, but in the next plot over is where we’ve planted pumpkins and watermelon.  We’ve had to tweak the watering solution on that second plot a few times.  Initially my garden experts had thought that we could use sprinkler style watering, but we apparently don’t have enough water pressure for that.  So we’ll be installing dripper heads on those lines as well, once the seeds start coming up and we know where the plants are
We have two groups that meet in our fellowship hall each month.  Crossover Education Center and Happy Friends Club are both headed up by one of our members, and are opportunities for special needs people to receive life skills training as well as engage in social activities – respectively.  The groups have been growing and growing over the past year.  The Happy Friends Club adopted this small area of ground to plant lavender, herbs, and flowers.  It looks beautiful, and will smell great in the near future!
The lovely bi-color paint job on the portable building is due to some very thoughtful tagging that some neighborhood kids provided us with.  I’d love to get in contact with these guys and ask them to do a mural or something really artistic – instead of just practicing signing their names.  I continue to pray for more people, and for protection of these fragile little plants from taggers and other folks with too much time on their hands or just a mean streak.  And I pray that people will be blessed from the food as well as the process.

2 Responses to “Garden Update”

  1. JP Says:

    Great artcile in the local paper! How will the food be distributed? Through some other organization? Can people just come and pick, or what?

  2. Paul Nelson Says:

    Yeah, that’s a good question.  One made more salient when one of the key overseers of the garden showed up at my office the other day with a bag of radishes for me.  Not that I don’t like radishes, but now we have to figure out the best way to get the food to the people who need it.There’s an organization here in Ventura County that sort of acts as a master food distribution & donation center.  My plan is to get the food to them.  However, I need to figure out a good way to do that.  We’ll be harvesting in fits and starts, and so it’s not like we’ll necessarily have 12 boxes of fresh produce to drop off at any specific time.I’d prefer to give directly to the local community around the church, but making inroads there has been slow (years of marginalized relationships between the neighborhood and church).  I’ll begin by asking the folks who have been involved for their recommendations and ideas, and go from there.  I know we’ll get something figured out.I’m hoping that we can offer some Saturday morning classes on cooking – and it would be great for some of our neighbors to come in and share recipes from the Latino cultures they hail from.  But, we’ll see.  That may be a long ways in coming.  I’m also hoping that some of our members would be willing to offer a class on how to can and preserve produce.  We shall see.

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