Gonna Make This Garden Grow

Garden update.

The corn is impressively large and putting out ears.  On the far side of it, the squash have just about spent themselves.  We ended up with an odd variety of squash rather than the zucchini squash we thought we were planting.  Ours is apparently a variant zucchini strain, which grows larger and sweeter.  Gena just made her grandmother’s chocolate zucchini cake using this squash, and it turned out delicious!  In the foreground of the corn, our peas our struggling.  Also on the other side of the corn are cilantro bushes that have blossomed and gone to seed, which I’m harvesting to grind into coriander powder – one of my favorite meat seasonings.
The other two plots have also been planted.  Our preschoolers planted pumpkins and watermelon and sunflowers in the center plot in this picture, and we (we meaning Lewis & Jim, our garden masters!) have filled out that patch with some more corn.  The far plot has some tomato plants growing.  Soon, I’ll be able to make my Grand Marnier salsa with freshly grown, organic tomatoes, onions, jalapeno and habenero chilis, and perhaps even some cilantro.  Should be great!  
Lewis has also been doing some work in getting the landscaping at the church under control.  He’s been policing the grounds to discover broken sprinkler heads, pipes, and other sources of water waste.  The first month we began watering the garden in earnest, the church saved about $100 compared to what it had spent on water *before* the garden, due to all the water that was being wasted via broken lines and heads.  
We’ve donated thus far well over 100 pounds of produce to a local food bank located about a half mile from the church.  Squash, green beans, a few premature carrots, and white as well as red radishes have been donated.  The squash has just about run it’s course and can be pulled out and composted soon (Lewis & Jim built a very simple, chicken-wire composting ‘bin’ a little ways away from the garden).  Tomatoes will be ripening in the next week or so.  
Participation from the community is still elusive.  While maybe half a dozen folks have expressed interest in helping, they get rather skittish about actually showing up to help out.  I’m not sure if it’s a scheduling issue, or just shyness about working with people they don’t know.  Either way, I keep trying.  Thanks to the efforts of Lewis & Jim, the garden is growing beautifully.  Most importantly, land that was otherwise going to weed and waste is being used to feed God’s people.  I think that’s an important thing for churches to keep in mind.  It isn’t enough for the grounds to look nice.  Maybe they ought to be productive, too!  Tends to lead us back to discussions of mankind’s purpose on earth as stewards, as per Genesis 1 & 2.  
Mika and Lewis planting some ornamental ground cover about a month or more ago.  It’s since grown in very nicely.  Maybe Mika has a green thumb!

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