Fall Garden Build Date

So, the spring garden was a success, mostly. It certainly produced tomatoes, and I am sure they fed the homeless. But it sure was ugly and ragged most of the summer. I think we can do better.  And with fall coming up (it really is, I promise!) we have a second chance. Round two, if you will. 

First thing first (which is when you should always do the first thing. First. Why do I even have to explain this?), we need to pull out the old garden and it’s associated accoutrement. We also need to line the beds with bricks, courtesy of Seth Henry, to make them look nicer and facilitate easier maintenance and weeding. Then we will re-compost and till the beds. Then it will just kind of chill, ruminate, if you will, until we plant snap pea seeds this fall. 

Would you like to help? Of course you would! We will be working there next Saturday, August 29th from 8 am until 10 or 11 am ish. Email me at evans@austinequine.com if you want to let me know you’re coming or you have any questions. 

What Up With That, May 20th edition

I’m not sure what the maximum amount of rain one would want on newly planted tomatoes, but I think we approached that amount these past two weeks. Our new little garden has been generously blessed with all the water it could ask for. 

I went out on Monday to check on it and was very pleased. The plants have gotten bigger and the Bermuda grass has not taken over the beds (yet).

  
 I was only there for a short while but I noticed a couple things that I think will make this garden different from our last. –

  •  I bet you can spot one issue from the above photograph – Trash – I don’t know how that much trash gets there. It’s enough that the most logical explanation is that one person collects all of their own trash nicely at their house in a standard trash bag, then takes that bag of trash, walks to the garden, and proceeds to shake it out evenly over the garden area. That, or there is a competition for everyone who walks by to throw one piece of trash of their choosing into the garden, getting points for size and location of the trashed object. Whichever one of those is true, I think trash pickup will be a constant at the garden. 
  • Working in the garden will not be a solitary or lonely business.  In my brief time there, I had opporunities to interact with multiple neighbors.  Now, I failed to really engage any of them, and kept primarily to my weeding,  mostly because I was at a loss about what to say to them, besides “hello”. But the fact remains – this garden is there, among the people. 

Up next, we need to line the beds with some bricks donated by Seth, add some mulch on top of the beds and maybe (definitely) weed some more. 

We Are Back In Business 

Great news, everybody! The Christ Church Garden is back! 

Now that Christ Church has found a home, we have land galore to garden on.  After being turned down on our request to fill in the entire parking lot with compost and make a 1/2 acre garden and orchard (it would have only required about 40-60 hours a week to work), we decided to start small. We looked around for a location in the sun, close to water and visible to the community and we were left with the front of the old house on San Marcos street. 

 
Yep, that’s the one. 

We had a group come out last week to pull up the grass and mix in compost. Compost is rotten poop,  in case you’re keeping score at home. 

 
That’s the outline of the planting beds next to a truckload of, uh, compost. 

We left everything to mingle and relax for week.  That’s really best when preparing new vegetable beds. And we had neglected to procure any plants (but a minor detail) , so we had no choice. Then, this week, we planted tomatoes. All tomatoes, nothing but tomatoes, and all little cherry tomatoes, to boot. 

   
  


Here are the plants in the ground with the imitable Seth Henry working away. You can see Seth fiddling with the soaker hose, a major passion of his. 

As we were planting, a new neighbor walked by and exclaimed “Tomatoes!” And we, caught up in his excitement, replied “YES!” 

And then he seemed to consider the situation further and said somberly, “You shouldn’t plant those here, there’s a lot of homeless and hungry people around and they’ll take them all.”  

To which we replied, “Yes! That is exactly the point!” (Yes, Seth and I speak in unison in this anecdote)

And he shook his head in obvious frustration at our ignorance and walked off before we could tell him why we want the homeless, the hungry, the hipsters to have free tomatoes as a gift from us. OK, maybe not the hipsters. We love them too, but they can grow their own tomatoes. We also were not able to go over the roman road or the bridge or any other tracts with him, he was just walking too fast. But hopefully, he’ll ponder later “why those two handsome and obviously intelligent young men would want to give away the tomatoes that they were working so very hard to grow” or some thought in a similar vein.  Hopefully he’ll come back to ask. Or steal tomatoes. 

So there we are. It is planted and growing. We are having a lovely rainy stretch to get them started in this week.  And, based on the observations of our new friend, it seems the garden will be self harvesting. If any tomatoes are left, we can clean and package them and walk them to the MLF truck at 1st and San Marcos on Saturday mornings. Way easier than the old protocol. 

Future plans include weeding, edging the beds, weeding, watering when it stops raining, weeding, fertilizing with fish / seaweed emulsion, weeding, putting up our garden sign, weeding, and designing a scarecrow to ward off hipsters. I kid, I kid. But really, do you think a middle aged guy in kahkis, a tucked in polo and clean shaven face will work?

So comment here or email me or Seth if you want to help out or be part of future garden work, or you like to weed, or for your turn as the scarecrow. 

Update, where to volunteer

I’ve been absent from here for some time. As you can surmise from scrolling through the past few post, the Christ Church Garden had gone under via backhoe and we weren’t sure what to do next.

I think the clear way for Christ Church to garden for God for now is to volunteer with Mobile Loaves and Fishes. Check them out and get involved! I hope to be more involved with them again this fall, and when I am, I’ll promote and post about it here.

We will build a garden again, when we have land, and I have no doubt that it will be awesome. But until then do something to serve the Lord, even if it is not gardening. Lay it on ’em, James –

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

18 I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.”

Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.

MLF Community First! Garden

As you I am sure know by now, our garden at the old Holy Trinity / City School site is no more. After casting about for what to do next, Steven Hebbard ask us at Christ Church to get more involved with what MLF is doing at their Community First! garden in northeast Austin. The church leadership agreed that serving in that way would be a good direction to head, so here we are, arrived at what is next – we will serve with the MLF gang at their garden this spring.
Eventually, if we choose, there will be opportunities for Christ Church to take ownership of some part of the garden. For now, I want to encourage individuals, families and groups from CC to come out and see what all the fuss is about. Because the fuss is about God and His amazing love for us, that’s what.
Sign up to volunteer here
Read about what a volunteer day might look like here and here

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