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. 

What Up With That – October 1st Edition

Here Lies Broccoli

Here Lies Broccoli

So we had a little bit of failure at the garden. Ok, a lot of failure. We lost like 75% of our Broccoli and Cauliflower transplants. Too much heat and too little watering. Mostly, the not watering part. They went in and it rained shortly after, so I thought, no biggie, it is 96 and dry now, they can make it. They could not. All the little planting tags were still there, presiding over dead or absent plants, tombstones memorializing my incompetence. Well, I always wanted to be remembered.

But, we are not deterred. The garden is one big metaphor for Christian life, so this weekend, we focused on the following – second chances, redemption, re-birth, forgiveness and some more of those seed parables (which must of really hit home with an agrarian society). So we replanted again. More transplants planted, more seeds sown.

Fall Planting (Again!)

Fall Planting (Again!)

We were joined by the Foulkrod Family and part of the Fowler family to work the garden. It was the first non-official meeting of the non-official Christ Church Fostering Group.

A little background – A couple of years ago, I was at the garden to meet the youth group when I felt Christ call for me and my family to start fostering children. It was definitely Jesus’ idea, because it sure wasn’t mine. It also sounded a lot like him, and not much like me.  Now Christ is raising up more people at Christ Church to foster too! And they are all gullible enough to be tricked into garden work!

So we are thankful that Christ is using us, using the garden. It is good to see His hand in action and His work coming to fruition.

It all made me think of this song. I recently stumbled across this on a recommendation and recognized that we have sung it in church. It is Rend Collective Experiment and they are a bunch of Irish hispters. They would fit right in at the garden. But I digress. The song is “Build Your Kingdom Here”. I love it. Build it here – in this Church, in this Garden, in our Homes, in this City! Build it, we pray.

Also, what is that banjo / pogo stick / drum thing and can we get one for our worship band?