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.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Garden Update 5/20/18

It's been a very busy May. The week of the May 6 was a time of getting things ready. Getting the soil "up and running" so to speak. Doing all of those prep things for planting. On the 12th of May with the help of 8 spectacular volunteers, many from the Unitarian Fellowship, we were able to get a portion of the space leveled and planted with potatoes. We also planted peas along the south fence. None of those things has made an appearance yet but that will come soon.

During the week of the 13th I put out a general call to rake the garden flat. Friday morning (May 18) when I went to church it was indeed already to go. Don't know who did it but thank you for your hard work it made things go much faster on the 19th. On the 19th we planted approximately 400 starts. These were initially put in flats on the 31st of March. Alaska Mill Feed & Garden donated a flat of cabbage and one of broccoli that were also put in on the 19th. We now have potatoes, peas, summer squash, spaghetti squash, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bunching onions, and lettuce planted in the garden.

Most of the rest except for the peppers and leeks are direct seeded to the soil. I will probably put peas along the north fence in the garden as well this year. Seeds yet to be planted include carrots, turnips, parsnips, radishes, beans, and others yet to be determined. In the meantime please pray for warm weather with just the right amount of rain.

More will come as the garden develops.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Thank You

I wish to send a very special thank you to the Alaska Women's Giving Circle. They have been very generous to the Harvest of Hope Memorial Garden this year with a grant of $1000. A special thank you to Molly Orheim for being the champion for this project with the group. Thank you Molly for your encouragement and support.

A special thank you to the Alaska Food Policy Council and the Municipality of Anchorage for the Local Food Mini-Grant Program. This program is administered by the office of Mayor Berkowitz. Thank you for you effort in the administration and getting the word out for this grant. The grant amount is $550. Thank you to all of the people that put me on to this grant and there were many.

We also thank GK "raising it up" Farms for the donation of 25 pounds of seed potatoes for the garden this year. I'm sure the Red Pontiacs will be greatly appreciated by all of the clients served by the garden.

And last but not least to Alaska Mill Feed and Garden for their donation of cabbage and broccoli paks for planting in the garden.

This is truly a community effort and all of the businesses and organizations that have been recognized are a very special part of our community. Good bless you all and may your success bring special joy to the people we serve.

Praise God from whom all blessing flow!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Planting the Garden

Seed Sprinkler
Carrot seeds are small, up to 500,000 per pound. Lima beans are large, up to 1450 per pound. Planting 100 ft. rows of Lima beans would be relatively easy by hand but 100 ft. rows of carrots are a pain. Turnips are in between in size coming in at 170,000 per pound. 

There is no magic method for planting garden seeds. It takes time and patience if you are going to be frugal with you supplies. If you have a small garden, say 200 square feet or so you will probably will be on you hands and knees sprinkling seeds in a shallow trough you have cut in the soil. You may want to mix the smaller seeds with sand so it's easier to spread them out. Of course you can just shake them out of the packet as well. Do read the instructions on the packet. There is a lot of useful information there. It could save you some time and money. You might find a device like the one at the right useful. They cost about $2 plus shipping on Amazon.

Earthway Planter
The garden I work in most often is more than 9000 square feet. I don't really want to crawl around on my hands and knees to plant the rows. The rows in the Harvest of Hope Memorial Garden are anywhere from 15 to 80 feet long. Much of it is planted in brassicas, you know cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc. There are usually 4 or 5 rows of potatoes, too. So it's not all planted with little seeds.

In 2017 I invested in a planter for the garden. I can sow a row (60 feet or more) of turnips in about 1 minute with this gadget. I would probably take at least 30 minutes on my hands and knees. I planted other things with the planter as well but the turnips came out the best. Of course they were the last thing it used the planter to plant. Just like any other tool there is a learning curve. It did make planting go a lot faster than in 2016 when the garden was half the size. A planter like the Earthway goes for around $110 plus shipping at many locations. Everything is a learning experience.

There are much more expensive planters. If you are planting more than a half acre you might want to invest in a much larger planter than I have. Companies also make machines that put in seedlings as well.