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 ELCA Domestic Hunger Grants, the Alaska Food Policy Council through the Municipality of Anchorage, the Alaska Women's Giving Circle, The Alaska Master Gardeners of Anchorage, the generous support by the congregation of Lutheran Church of Hope, and support from the Alaska Synod of the ELCA.

Food from the garden in 2019 was sent to Lutheran Social Services Food Pantry, the Tudor Road Gospel Rescue Mission, and to Bean's Cafe.

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.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The time crunch begins

It is now the end of March or nearly so. There is much to be done. It seems the ground has thawed at least in my back yard. I no longer have a pond it has been absorbed into the ground. Though I have yet to check the space for the garden it has much more exposure and may not yet be frost free. I may be better if it is not. The work to be done will not be quite as muddy. But mud or not the work must be done. I am posting a schedule for the first part of April here.

Along with this work you may help by making seed tape at home. I will be happy to show you how to do that process. It's quite simple just tedious. It's something you can easily do while watching TV or listening to tunes. Here is the schedule for the first part of April 2016. There are many more tasks to be done and every little bit helps. Even if you can only help our for half an hour that will be greatly appreciated.

Garden Schedule for first part of April 2016.

April 1        10 AM        More tree cutting to prepare for shed arrival

April 5        9 AM        Shed arrival

April 6        Noon        Move brush pile to another location

April 8        10 AM         Move brush pile to another location

April 9        10 AM        Move brush pile if necessary, remove roots from the space.

April 17    11 AM        Take home trays of starts to get them going. Instructions after the                     service.

You might notice that the storage shed has been removed from the wish list. One was purchased last this week and will be delivered on April  5th.

See you in the garden.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

First day of Spring

Today is the first day of spring. Of course that is spring according to the calendar. The lower 48 has spring. But as I write this it is snowing. We are supposed to get 2 to 4 inches today and another 2 or so tonight. Sure doesn’t seem like spring or look like spring. But things are still happening in the with the garden if not in the garden.
Harvested Birch

Seed starting equipment has been bought as well as seeds. I hope to have planted seeds for the congregation and others who wish to raise in their homes until we are able to put them in the garden in May. In April we will take delivery on a storage shed. We will construct compost bins. Hopefully I will be able to take soil samples so I can send them in for analysis. I will put together a calendar and let everyone know what tasks will be undertaken and when so you can come by to help out if you wish. We will also have a couple of seed tape making parties so planting carrots, parsnips, beets, and other things will go more quickly and there will be less thinning as the
plants emerge. Be watching for the schedule.

Rough Bowls
We did have a small veggie harvest last fall. We also had a large harvest during the summer. We harvested a log of birch trees. All of that wood was not burned or just left to rot. In the time since that harvest I have turned at least some of the wood into wooden bowls. It started with rough turning the wood into bowl shapes. They were left to dry for the deep winter months. This month I started turning those rough bowls into the finished product. Most of the bowls are in the 4 to 7 inch range, heavy on the 4 inch end. Some, though no many, will be as large as 10 inches. The trees were small so the bowls are as well.
Bowls Nearly Ready

The bowls will probably be on sale on Easter at the Lutheran Church of Hope at 1847 W. Northern Lights Blvd. They will also be available at Alaska Synod Assembly the last weekend of April (St. Mark Lutheran Church on Lake Otis Pkwy). The proceeds from the bowls will go to support the garden and I will receive none of the proceeds. Pricing of the bowls has not been determined yet but the small ones (4 inch) will be in the $7 range and the larger (7 inch) ones $12 to $15 with reduced pricing for the purchase of 4 of the same size. There may be a few that are more expensive because of special designs or larger size.

Spring really is coming. Be patient and it will happen.

See you in the garden.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Bleak Midwinter in the Garden

February, the midst of a miserable winter. There has been little snow and less sun. Lots of clouds and rainy weather. We have also suffered the injury of a vandalized building. The garden looks like it may never produce. But looks can be very deceiving.

February has been a banner month for our fledgling garden. On the 17th of February we received word from the ELCA we have been awarded a grant for 2016 in the amount of $3000. Along with the $3500 that had been pledged by the congregation we are well on our way to seeing growth (yes, pun intended) in our Memorial Garden in 2016.

On February 24 I received word from the Alaska Synod that I will be able to sell bowls at Synod Assembly made from the trees that were taken down on the plot. I will be very busy finishing bowls during the next couple of months so I will have wares to sell. My goal is to sell $500 worth of bowls. They will be priced from $10 to maybe as high as $50 depending on size. It’s difficult to say right now as I don’t have any of the finished product yet. The bowls will also be available at the Lutheran Church of Hope if the church council will permit me to display and sell them there as well.

I will need some assistance at assembly so if anyone has some free time April 22-24 please let me know. Assembly will be at St. Mark Lutheran Church on Lake Otis Blvd. You can call the church office or send an email to leave a message for me. The church phone number and email  can be found at on the web. There is also a link to this blog there as well. I will get some pictures posted of the bowl turning process as soon as I get started on them.

Be sure to check out the wish list that is on right side this page. The wish list does change so be sure to check back often. There are many things that can be ordered from Amazon, Inc. If you have Amazon Prime there is often no shipping charged even to Alaska.

If you have any pictures available of people we can put on our picture gallery of those memorialized in the garden please send them to me or the church office so I can incorporate them into the blog’s picture gallery. Digital pictures are the best but I can scan photos as well.

Thanks for reading and there will be another post soon so keep coming back.

Peace be with you all.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Winter in the Garden

Happy New Year to one and all. I know January should be way too early to be talking about gardening. However, last week I placed the first order for materials to start seeds in last March. Seems to be jumping the gun but I need to make sure that all of the materials are on hand when it is time to begin. I have begun to study vegetable varieties that will be planted. I have started to plan the layout. Hoping there will be some precipitation this winter so the garden won't be so dry when we need to get going. Today looks like a late March day. The wish list has changed some. A few items like a compost thermometer and min/max thermometer have shown up. In March and April the construction of the boxes for the raised beds will begin so they are ready to be placed as soon as things are leveled and soil is ready to move. May will be a busy time and it is best to begin preparation now so it is less hectic than it might be.

In the bleak midwinter it is difficult to think of gardening. But at the same time it brings hope to all that spring is just over the horizon and will be here before you know it. Most gardeners start to itch when January rolls around and I am no different than the rest.

Peace be with you all.