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.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Beautiful Day in the Garden

Volunteer Orientaton
Yup, it was a beautiful day in the garden. I spent some hours in the Alaska Botanical Garden today. It is a lovely place to visit. I went to volunteer orientation and plan to spend at least a couple of hours every week there this summer to various tasks that are needed.

If you haven't been to this lovely place you should make every effort to do that. They are open basically from 9-5 each and every day. Sometimes earlier and sometimes later. There are many beautiful places to explore and if you are so inclined opportunities for you to get involved. If you have a few hours to spare any day during the week you won't be disappointed with a stroll in the Alaska Botanical Garden. You might even get some ideas that you could use in your own garden. Don't have a garden? You could certainly start one!

Monday, May 22, 2017

First Planting Day

I wasn't sure how the day was going to turn out. There was certainly a lot of rain yesterday. I had hoped the garden would dry out so we could begin planting today. Dry it did and plant we did. A very special thank you to my lovely bride, Bonnie, for her hard work today putting 144 broccoli plants in the ground. That is really a gross number you know. After she left I also put another 68 cauliflower plants in the ground. So with the potatoes that have been planted the garden is about 25% awaiting a harvest sometime later in the summer or fall.

Sharon had previously planted peas and lettuce. Those are breaking through the soil. It's exciting to see the miracle of new life happen right before your eyes. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of those plants poking their leaves out of the earth, maybe later this week. The lettuce is hardly noticeable unless you know what to look for anyway. And the peas actually look more like weeds so it might be better to wait.

Rod and I attempted to get the elevated beds covered up today but the visqueen is  not the proper size so we will have to wait to finish those up. We did get the hoops cut and mostly installed. Rod also put together the frames and the wire for the cucumber "enclosure". He was slaving away on that while Bonnie and I did the planting today.

Hopefully the weather will hold and we will be able to get the rest of the cauliflower, the sprouts, and the squash in the ground. Supposed to rain Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. So I guess the seeds will have to wait 'til the weekend. It was a great day.

See you in the garden.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Nearly Ready to Go!

Here it is already the middle of May. The sun is warm and bright. Peas are in the ground. Some potatoes are in the ground with more to come. And there is lettuce getting ready to sprout.

Hydrant with Meter
Nathan hooked up the water meter this week. Friday morning I was fortunate enough to get it tested and inspected. Talked with Nathan about the irrigation system and it's starting to come together. Many thanks to Nathan, Sharon, and Rod for their assistance this week it has been wonderful getting so much done.

Box Cover

Getting plants ready this year has been a real chore. The expansion made it impossible for me to grow enough starts to fill the garden. I am putting out a call for some assistance. I will need the following plants: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage both green and red. When you are out and about see if you can scare up some spaghetti squash. I would really like to try that this year. If you can purchase them and bring them by the church next week that would be great. All help is appreciated. I will be trying to direct seed some cabbage and broccoli this year so there may be two harvests.
East End

I have redesigned the elevated beds this year and they will have covers that can be opened so there will be access to the whole bed. At least that's the plan. I combined many ideas that I have seen on the web over the winter and hope that this will work well when completed. I still have to test the seeder that I purchased over the winter. That test will come very soon.
West End

The soil temperature today was 50° F. That's pretty warm for this early in the season. The air temperature over the garden has been as high as 78° F. The low temps are still in the upper 30s and low 40s so hope there won't be a frost.

Well the water is ready to go, the ground is ready to plant. All we have to do is "git er dun"!

See you in the garden!


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May Day

No it's not a distress call. It's the first day of May. The garden is free of snow. Now for it to dry out so we can get in and prepare it for planting. There is much to be done in the meantime.

Peppers & Pak Choi
Will need to purchase some some fencing to close the 18 inches of open space at the bottom of the south side of the fence. Peas will be planted there to take advantage of the "natural" trellis created by the fence. Hope to get those planted next week some time. Need to build covers for the boxes so they will be easier to water and weed this year. Will be making a lean-to greenhouse on the north end of the garden so will have to do some construction for that as well. The chipper/shredder will have to be assembled. Start up the compost bins again. The lawn in front of the church that must be assisted with a wake-up. Must check the lawn tractors to make sure they are working properly. Need to cull the three or four push mowers we have. Which one is worth keeping and what to do with the rest. And there is always the possibility the none are worth keeping.

Apple "trees"
I did a tree grafting workshop on April 15. Two apple trees are now waiting the warm weather to begin growing anew.  One is a State Fair and the other a Carrol. These varieties are supposed to be good eating. More are in the wings so we may end of with an orchard in the near future as well as a garden. It will probably be 5 or 6 years before these will bear fruit. We do already have a State Fair and a Norland tree in front of the parsonage that are bearing well now.

Sunflowers & Cukes
So the church will be a fruit grower a well as a veggie grower. The bee hives are in place and the ladies (worker bees are female) are hard at work as we speak. The tour of the garden this year will include many more things than just walking the rows.

Plants for the garden are growing. We have peppers (many varieties), cucumbers, sun flowers, and squash. Soon there will be cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Still need to purchase some seeds but the seeder has been assembled and will soon be tested.

The list is long. Time will fly. All will get done. At least that's what I keep telling myself. If you have some time the next two weeks stop by and I will put you to work. You can call the church office to see if I'm around. Chances are I will be.

May the Lord be with you. See you in the garden!