The garden is a Memorial Garden, a garden of benevolence, a 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. The garden is made possible by generous donations from the community, and grants from the Alaska Food Policy Council through the Municipality of Anchorage, the Alaska Women's Giving Circle, generous support by the congregation of Lutheran Church of Hope, and support from the Alaska Synod of the ELCA.

Food from the garden in 2018 was sent to Lutheran Social Services Food Pantry, the Tudor Road Gospel Rescue Mission, and to Bean's Cafe.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Brush is hauled

Monday was a day of brush hauling. I was able to get a double snow machine trailer from a friend and we used it to haul brush that had accumulated at the garden site. Special thanks to Rod Voshell for his help on Monday shagging brush. We made three trips to the wood lot and got all of the accumulated limbs and branches off the premises. This will give us more room for cutting and stacking for the rest of the week.

Will be cutting and hauling again on Thursday, July 23. If you have time drop by and lend a hand.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Variety of Gifts, but the Same Garden

Right now there are 5 boxes with growing vegetables, but next year the hope is that a half-acre behind LCOH will be cleared of trees, garden beds will be built, and the soil prepared for seeds. Several people have been working hard and getting their hands dirty cutting down trees and hauling brush to clear the garden area. With each load of brush hauled away the space where the garden will grow in 2016 and beyond becomes more visible.

This fall when the garden plots are put to bed, gardening will continue in the form of planning and preparing for the next season. Gardening never really stops. It just moves into a new season with new and different tasks. One task will be making a master plan for the garden plot itself. Another task will be deciding what to plant, where to plant, and when to plant. Other tasks will be reaching out into the community to tell the story of this garden and to invite others to be collaborative partners.

The vision behind the Harvest of Hope garden is that it will become a community collaborative effort shaped by anyone interested in fighting hunger in our community. We hope Lutherans from other communities will be our partners; we hope neighbors from Turnagain and Spenard will be our partners; we hope mobile food pantry shoppers will be our partners. The Holy Spirit is nudging this garden vision along, but it will take all kinds of people's time, talents, and gifts to build it.

In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks about how the body of Christ is comprised of many members and only functions as a whole because each member has different gifts. The same could be said for the Harvest of Hope memorial garden. For this ministry to thrive there are a variety of gifts needed: some sowers, some waterers, some planners, some builders, some leaders, some organizers.

There are roles for those who want to get their hands dirty and there are roles for those don't. There is need for those who can weed and water. There is need for those who can create the vision and invite others to be a part of it. There is need for those who can pray and watch things grow. This is the time when we are planting not only the first seeds of beets, lettuce, and carrots, but we are also planting seeds of ideas and hopes for the garden; the more variety, the greater and richer the harvest will be!

Who do you know that might be interested in sharing their gifts in the garden?  
How might you share your gifts in the garden? 
Who might you tell about the garden?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Working the Past Week

Everything seems to go more slowly than you had hoped. On Wednesday, July 15 we got quite a few
trees knocked down. The branches were stripped and piled up. The logs were cut into manageable lengths and stacked. Wanted to get back and get some other work done but it just was not in the cards this past week.

On Saturday, July 18 the bottom fell out of one of the boxes. The box that had all of the squash in it is now empty. The contents are
lying on the ground. Hopefully I will be able to recover at least some of them on Monday. I picked up and cut the materials to repair that box and some to reinforce the others. Hopefully that will be enough and I get to them before they collapse as well.

I will be borrowing a trailer from a friend to see if we can get more of the limbs to the woodlot this week. The trailer is a double snow machine rig so should hold a lot more than the rear of my pickup. I will probably leave it on site for a couple of days if you want to go and load up some branches. There is still plenty of work to be done. If you are so inclined give me a call any day this week I will probably be working in the garden that doesn't look much like a garden yet.

May God's peace and grace be with you all.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

It's a Real Squash

We have our first crop in the making. When I looked at the plants on Sunday after church there was actually a squash set on one of the plants. It's an eight ball zucchini. So unless it get eaten by some critter we will have at least one thing to harvest for Lutheran Social Services of Alaska (LSSA). All of the rest of the seeds we planted on July 5 have germinated. We have radishes, lettuce, carrots, and beets pushing through the soil. Our first harvest is just around the corner.

I did get our first bid back on clearing the land behind the church. The bid was for $32,000. Seems a little much to me. The garden cannot sustain that kind of expense. So come September I will be renting some equipment to see how much we can might be able to do ourselves. Essentially this means the garden will take longer to develop fully. Won't be able to evaluate the extent of the set back until we can assess how much work we will be able to accomplish before the ground freezes up. There is another bid out but I don't think there will be enough difference to make it affordable.

If you know of anyone having access to a dozer please let me know. Especially if they would be interested pushing around some debris as a donation to the garden.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sunday Planting Success

The planting "party" we had on Sunday, July 5 was a rousing success. We even have plants coming up from the seeds that were planted. Our first radishes have sprouted. They should have their first true
leaves by Friday or Saturday. Be sure to go and check out the progress. The carrots usually take about two weeks to germinate and the beets from 10 - 14 days so look for them next week. With a little luck we should have lettuce up by Sunday the 12th.

The squash plants have many blossoms and I actually saw bees flying around the blooms on Wednesday when I was at church. All-in-all things are progressing quite well.

Melissa will be submitting the ELCA Hunger Grant on Friday and hopefully we will have another source of funds for moving things forward.

There are now two companies working on estimates for clearing the space for the garden. Hope to have some preliminary numbers sometime on Thursday, July 9.

We will have a tree cutting party one day next week. Even if you can't cut trees there will be things that you can do. If you have a truck and can haul brush and limbs to the wood lot be sure to be there. Watch this space, the weekly news, the website, and the bulletin for up coming opportunities.