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.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Leeks

Leek Seedlings
I gave leeks a try this season. At 100 days to maturity it was nip and tuck whether they would make it. I started seed on the 31st of March. I thought that may be too soon but was willing to find out as things progressed in the spring. I was thinking about trying to direct seed some to see what would happen. Soil temperatures are usually the problem with this type of "crop". I chose not to direct seed as I read more about the crop. Leeks don't make the list of the suggested varieties from the Alaska Cooperative Extention Service (CES). The publication number in case you would like to order it is HGA-00031. So we will see what happens.

The seeds that were planted took only 6 days to germinate. So the on the 6th we had what looked like tiny chives growing in the starter trays. At a little more than three weeks they still look like chives just taller. Water, light, and nutrients for the next 6 to 8 weeks will hopefully yield viable seedlings.

Planting the seedlings seems to be pretty much the same as potatoes. Dig a trench about 6 inches deep. Plant the seedlings in the trench. As the seedlings grow gradually fill in the trench to get nice white areas above the roots. If you don't trench or hill them you will get a very small white portion and much more leaves than you expect. As the season goes on I will try to give updates on the progress. If all goes well I will try them again next year.

Harvested Leeks
This is sort of an addendum to this entry. Starting the seeds two months before you want to plant is just about right. They seemed to transplant just fine.  I put them in the garden on June 5th. Will see how they progress over the summer.

The progression was amazing. As I read more about leeks from various sources I found out they are quite frost tolerant. They will even do well in snow as long as the ground doesn't freeze. Any way, I filled in the trench they were planted in as the summer progressed. For much of the time they just looked like green bunching onions. As the summer moved on they got bigger and bigger, who wudda thought. When I harvested them the first week in October some were and inch and a half in diameter. I would call that a successful experiment. Altogether there were 25 pounds of leeks. I will be planting them in 2019.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Mission of ELCA World Hunger -- God's Work, Our Hands

July 2018
I recently became aware of a video that is used to support and promote the ELCA World Hunger Holistic Mission. I am proud to have the Harvest of Hope Memorial Garden be a part of this video and ministry. There is also an article in the fall 2018 issue LifeLines about the garden. The work that is done in the Lutheran Church of Hope, Harvest of Hope Memorial Garden is being recognized throughout the country. A special thank you goes out to all of the people that made the garden a possibility and a reality. The list is much to long to include here. But thanks to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, volunteers come from all over the city, south central Alaska, and as far away as Oregon. Together we do God's Work with Our Hands. Praise the Lord.

The video link is here. The download link to the article is here it is a full color PDF and does take some time to download please be patient.

Monday, November 12, 2018

2018 Harvest

 
Brussells Sprouts
Seems I have been neglecting my blog these days. It's really kind of silly of me because I have many drafts ready all I pretty much have to do is post them.

Chieftain Potatoes
For the 2018 season I set a goal of 4000 pounds (2 tons) for the harvest. I didn't quite make it but came close at 3641 pounds. Once again it was a learning experience. Don't plant squash and brassica starts too early. If the squash are blossoming when you transplant them you started too early. The cabbage, broccoli, and sprouts were all pretty root bound when they went in the ground. The cabbage heads were small in general. The broccoli mostly bolted or had very small heads. I was disappointed. The sprouts did about as expected but some of the stalks were pretty small. The only things that seemed to be started at the right time were the peppers and leeks. The peppers did well, 9 pounds this year with only one box planted. The leeks which were an experiment produced 25 pounds of lovely plants. I will do a separate entry on the leeks.

Chieftain Pototoes
Beets
The single largest crop was the turnips, 700+ pounds. The month of July I used a wheel barrow to harvest turnips. I planted radishes three times and ended up with well over a hundred pounds of them. As we were harvesting the crops this year I examined pretty closely what locations had the best yield. Turns out the north end and the west side of the garden did the best. The east and south sides were in shadow much more of the day and I'm convinced that had something to do with the yield. The peas on the north fence did much better than those on the south fence. Everything was pretty much the same except for the shadow. The remedy will be to remove some more trees from the south and east sides of the garden to increase the sunshine throughout. Which means there is lots of work to be done this winter to get things ready to go for the spring. Hopefully we can get into the trees before there is too much snow.
Carrots

Leeks
I will be spending some time in Florida and Arizona this winter. Will have to fit the tree cutting between the trips or wait until March. The winter harvest is better for turning bowls but then that is another post altogether.