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.

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