The garden is a Memorial Garden, a garden of benevolence, garden of love. It is a gift to our community from the God of Love, Jesus the Christ. The first “seeds” for our garden have come from members of the congregation and a designation from the congregation’s memorial funds. These seeds have brought us to the beginning of a journey that will last for many years. Guided by the Holy Spirit we will plow forth until row upon row of our work is accomplished and our community is better nourished. The Lord invites you all to be part of His work on earth strengthening and feeding His children.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Winter in the Garden

It has been a much colder winter than we have had in a number of years. Some would say much more "normal", whatever that may mean. The ground was frozen in the garden just a week after we got the new fence up. Unfortunately the snow was late so I'm sure the frost is much deeper than I would have liked. Perhaps we will have a warm "spring" and the earth will warm quickly. I am anxious to get to work in the soil and plant seeds of the new harvest.

Even with the snow and the cold essential tasks for the garden are taking place. I will be ordering a planter this week so we won't have to crawl on the ground to put in the seeds. I have also been researching new varieties of veggies to harvest in the fall. The usual things will be done but there will also be beans, possibly peas. I will try a different type of "winter" squash this year, possibly spaghetti squash. Fruit trees will be planted as well this year.

The fruit trees will probably be apples. The exact variety has yet to be determined. The trees are a long term effort. I will take at least 5 years before there will be a harvest. This will give incentive to keep things going when I am no longer able to plant or harvest. I do hope that will be many years in the future. The trees will remain as a sort of legacy even after I have departed this wonderful planet to be with the Lord.

We will have honey bees this coming summer. One hive is already in place and the last I heard the bees were still buzzing in the hive. They, like us, are awaiting the warm spring rays of the sun to begin their summer nectar harvest and the sweet result of their labors. Pollinators are always welcome in the garden.

I will try another type of peppers this year as well. There will always be experiments with species that are marginal for our area. Often a warm summer like 2016 will make marginal variety very successful. We can only hope. If you have ideas about what might work well in the garden let me know. You can leave a comment on this blog or call the church office to leave me a message. All suggestions will be considered.

March will bring warmer weather and we will all be itchy to get out in the sun and make things happen. April will bring the beginnings of visible work in the garden. Be sure to come by church and check things out even during the winter.

Be safe. Enjoy the snow. Above all, thank the Lord for the bounty he has provided us through the years. I thank Him for His love and for all the gifts He showers on each of us every day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Final Harvest of 2016

Once again I am amazed at the Grace of God. Our harvest for the year has been 2348 pounds of produce. The potatoes were the last thing brought in and the weight was in the area of 300 pounds. The squash was definitely the bulk of the harvest for this year. There were more squash plants than any other single item that was a continuous harvest plant.

In 2017 I will try to keep track of harvest for each variety. I will try to keep better records all the way around for the garden. It seems there was just too much to do. I will write a list for 2017 of the steps for each process so I can pass them on to subsequent gardeners and they will be available for volunteers that work in the garden the summer of 2017.

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to make more entries in this blog as well. That should help in the future with the process of making things work and hopefully running smoothly. Even though now it is deep into winter there are things going on to make the garden better in the future. Thanks for reading and hopefully there will be more to read in the near future.

Time to start researching seeds and cultivars to plant for the coming year. God bless all.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Spectacular August

August 29 Harvest
 It's been some time since my last post. August brought with it some rain so I did not water the garden at all during the month. There was no need. The harvest has continued with nearly 1500 pounds of produce to LSSA Food Pantry through the 31st of August. The total will easily be over a ton before the harvest is complete. Things have gone very well and I am already formulating planned changes for next year to make the harvest better and have more variety. Again pictures will give you more information than my rambling on about how fantastic the Lord has been in nurturing the garden along. There is one picture of the August 29th harvest that also shows off the new kitchen at church. The August 29th harvest was 90 pounds.
One potato plant harvest

Technically the potatoes are from September but I had to include it. That's 9 pounds of potatoes from one plant and there are probably 50 of those in the garden. That will translate into a lot of potatoes. Will let you know more next month.

Our God is so great, so strong, and so mighty there is nothing that he cannot do!!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

July Is Amazing

Cabbage and Cauliflower
First Carrots of the Year
Add caption

The month of July has been amazing in the garden. We have had no problems with any four legged animals and so far no problems with any two legged ones either. Hopefully the four legged variety will stay out with the fence up now. The success of the garden is beyond my wildest imagination. Every vegetable we have planted is or has done very well. This will once again be mostly a pictorial post as indeed the pictures tell the story of the harvest. The total as of July 27 has been 845.5 pounds of food. I am told by the people at the Lutheran Social Services of Alaska (LSSA) Food Pantry that the fresh produce is greatly appreciated. When I have been at LSSA when there are clients present they have certainly made their thanks know to me. I especially thank every one that has contributed time and other resources to the success of the garden. Thank you so much for your help and generosity.


More Zucchini

Friday, July 1, 2016

Planting, Fencing, Harvesting

May 31 Garden

June 8 Fencing
I rented the tractor again. This time with a bucket on the front and a rototiller on the back.

The garden is moving right along. We have planted so far: 2+ rows of potatoes, 2 rows of acorn squash, 4 rows of different types of zucchini, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and maybe some brussel sprouts. There are also radishes, beets, and lettuce. Yet to be put in the ground are carrots, parsnips, kale, collards, and some other stuff. Seems like a lot but it has gone so fast. Special thanks go out Jennifer Wardell, Sharon Starry, and Bonnie Bladow for all of their help with planting and preparation.
June 8 Garden

Everything we have planted including this list: collards, chard, kale, parsnips, and carrots are now above ground. They are not much above ground by they are up.

A special thank you to Nathan Rasmussen for welding the lawn mower and for installing the the plumbing on the hydrant behind the church. He is working on a couple of other tasks as well related to the garden and the lawn maintenance.

Special thanks as well to Scott Clendaniel, Richard Clendaniel,
June 22 Garden
Ryan Starry, Ty Wardell, Rod Voshell, John Hoopes, and Bonnie Bladow for their assistance on the fence.

Have been very busy the last 6 weeks so have neglected posting to this. Hope you all do not mind.

There is much more of the fence to do but it is coming along. The rest will be a pictorial view of the garden as of Friday, July 1, 2016.

June 30 Garden Rear View

June 30 Garden Front View

Broccoli and First Zucchini

First 33 Pounds to LSSA

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Almost Ready

It's been a busy couple of weeks. Got the boxes repaired that were losing there bottoms. Also got them refilled and fertilized. They are ready to plant and will probably do that the next couple of days. Will put in lettuce, radishes, and beets for now and probably some other shallow root crops since the boxes are not a deep now. They should produce better with the addition of fertilizer.

The main garden area is coming along nicely. I had four guys from Bartlett HS football team on Saturday the 7th help me move the stump piles in the middle of the garden. They are all now in one pile at the north end. We had the help of a little John Deere tractor to accomplish that task and it was very useful when it came to leveling the garden as well. Actually the learning curve on the tractor operation was pretty steep. I just had if figured out and then had to take it back. But we will need it again.

The compost bins have been completed and are heating up making new soil as we speak. It's very exciting so see things taking shape.

Top soil will be delivered on May 11. Oh wait! That's today. If you have a shovel and inclination there will be about 20 yards of soil to push around the garden in the next few days. With a little luck I hope to start planting at the latest on Monday the 16th. So if you are so inclined again I could use help on that day again. The garden will be a busy place for the next week.

Come by and lend a hand or just come by and chat. I will be there much of the time over the next week.

See you in the garden.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Busy April

It certainly has been a busy April.

A storage shed has been purchased from the Bartlett HS Material Science program. The cost was very reasonable and the shed has been placed at the garden site. I wish to give a special thank you to Richard, Luke, and Rod for their help in positioning the shed after it’s delivery.

 We now have a place to store your tool donations to the garden. Tools that are donated do not have to be new. They can be used tools that your no longer need but are serviceable. Even if they need a little work like sharpening that can be handled easily.

Compost bins have been built and one of them is in the process of making compost as we speak. The construction was straight forward but it took time. The second one went much faster than the first. There are still a few finishing touches to be done on the second one contracted and then it too will be making compost.

 On the 16th of April I attended the Master Gardener Conference at UAA. The conference was very informative and enjoyable. I made a connection at the local Cooperative Extension Service that should be invaluable in making the garden the best it can possibly be. I look forward to working with Julie Riley to make this garden a going concern.

 Will be applying for a hydrant use permit this week so we can use water from the hydrant behind the church for garden and lawn maintenance. This will have the church some money since we won’t have to pay sewer charges for the water we use from the hydrant. I’m not sure how all of this will sort out but will know much more next week.

Seeds have been planted as well for cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, squash and a couple of experimental pepper varieties. Hopefully these things will be healthy enough to use in the garden in the middle of May. Sure hope the weather stays as nice as it has been so we can plant before Memorial Day. That will give things a major head start. A special thank you to everyone that has taken seed starts home to nurture along. Will ask for them back sometime during the middle of May so they can be planted in the garden.

Members of the Bartlett HS football team are scheduled to come over on the 7th of May to help with the heavy work in the garden. This is also the cleanup day for the church. So if you are interested there is plenty of work to be done either for the church or for the garden.

During the next two weeks we will be constructing 2x12 beds for some of the crops that will be planted. Most will go directly into the ground including potatoes, Kale, and most of the starts that have bend tended by various members of the congregation. We will also plant in the beds that were built last year. These have been reconstructed so the bottoms won’t come out of them this year. New soil will be put in the beds as well or we will highly amend the soil that was in them last year.

I also attended the Alaska Synod of the ELCA assembly on the 22nd and 23rd of April. There I set up a “booth” about he garden and sold bowls made from the trees that we harvested last summer and fall. I took over 100 bowls to the assembly and they were all gone before noon of the second day. That was a whooping $950 + for the garden which will help tremendously with the expenditures ahead.

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Another special thank you to Mary for her generous contribution to the purchase of compost and top soil for the garden. You are an angel.

See you in the garden.