Saturday, August 1, 2015

Plentiful Summer Harvests and Fall plantings!

Garden greetings!

Praise God for all the ways He is sharing our garden to many in our community!  The plentiful summer harvest of tomatoes and other veggie favorites have provided many blessings as shared to our garden (and church!) members, S.A.F.E. food pantry, and Box of Blessings recipients!  Thanks be to God!  And to all of our hard working and dedicated garden members and angels! 

Our 7th Annual Tomato Sandwich Supper was enjoyed by many this past Sunday afternoon as we shared in fellowship together along with lots of ‘mater sandwiches and sides!   Thank you to all those that were able to join us and help!

Our fall plantings have commenced and we look forward to sharing an abundance of greens and rooted delights to many which includes a new 8-week offering of our Box of Blessings (10/1-11/24)!  We will be adding 5 regular shares to our 10 donated offerings providing the opportunity for some of you to personally enjoy our harvest as well as continued donations to those in need.  Regular shares for the 8 week session would be $200 and the cost for donated shares would only be $100 (with the garden donating the balance).  Official signups for this new offering to be in next week’s newsletter…or you can reserve your share by contacting me today!

We continually praise God for His gift of The Garden of Concord as he teaches and enables us to work and take care of His creation by growing and sharing good food and friendships with many!  Thank you all for your continued prayers and support of our garden!

It WILL be good!
-Donna Poe
Garden Coordinator

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Many Blessings in and out of the Garden this Summer!!

Greetings Garden friends! 
Praise God for the all the many ways He has shared His love to many through our community garden ministry and plantings.  This past month we began a pilot CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program in offering 10 families identified for us by school social workers at B.E. Jordan and Sylvan Elementary Schools as well as S.A.F.E. each a “Box of Blessings” for 12 weeks provided by “Garden Angels” and packed with fresh veggies harvested (and washed) from our garden.  The boxes are packed (and prayed over) on Thursday mornings with families picking up on Thursday afternoons during garden hours.  The families are invited to grow with us (but not required to) and many have!  We are continuing our regular donations to S.A.F.E. as well in which we have already doubled our donations as compared to last year at this time.  Thanks be to God!!

As we are thrilled to be entering into Week #5, we hope to increase our “B.O.B.” sharings to 15 in the fall (for an 8-week session) by offering another 10 through donations and extending 5 more shared to anyone wishing to purchase a box for their own families!  By year end 2016, our goal is to be at a total of 30 in which half would remain as benevolent shares.  More info on our new offerings to be forthcoming!  Thanks be to God again for His vision and leading!  

What are we harvesting in the garden?  Lots!!  Tomatoes are abundant as well as potatoes, Swiss chard, onions, garlic, peppers, eggplant, blueberries, cucumbers, beans, beets, basil, and carrots!  Sweet potatoes have been planted (900 plants!) along with more beans and buckwheat cover crop.  Other plantings can be found at our Garden Annex (Donna's house!) to include Butternut, summer squash, zucchini, and cantaloupe planted  for later sharing to garden peeps (and CSAs).  Keeping the squash bugs out of Eli Whitney (and so far no sitings in Snow Camp)!

So what else has been happening in (and out of!) the garden!  Our CoolBot (walk-in cooler) is complete and keeping our pending Box of Blessings fresh along with our overflow of harvested veggies for later sharing.  Our interns have been busy both working in the garden as well as off site in the pending production of a garden video by Garrett Rea and a website being developed by Taylor Smith!  We are thankful for our successful flower presentation for Andrew (our previous intern) and Justine's Hammond's wedding! (6 Bouquets/Boutonnieres, 16 Table and 2 Altar arrangements!.

Later this month, we look forward to enjoying that first ripened tomato sandwiched in between some Duke's mayo (and a little pesto:) at our annual Tomato Sandwich gathering to be held again this year in conjunction with our Vacation Bible School celebration luncheon on Sunday, July 26th at 12:30 pm.  Mark your calendars with more details to follow!  Invite your friends!

Thank you everyone for your prayers and support of our garden.
It WILL be Good!
-Donna Poe

Friday, June 5, 2015

Blessings of Hope, Helpers, and Harvests!

Greetings garden friends! 

Praise God for all the many ways He has blessed our garden ministry!  This year has been filled with many blessings of hope as we discern the future sustainability of our garden ministry according to God’s plan and purpose.  He has led many new families to our garden filled with a passionate desire to care for His creation and shared love for His kingdom through their stewardship, inspiration, and financial support.  Our workdays have been rockin’ with lots of folks enjoying their hour (or more!) tending to the garden tasks tallied.  This past Saturday marked a record attendance of 33 stewards not including all the kids!  Our harvests have been overflowing as well and have been shared abundantly with S.A.F.E and soon to our new CSA sponsored families as mentioned below.  All thanks be to God!

We are excited to begin offering a trial of 10 CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) for the summer (12 weeks) to our neighbors in need (Backpack Ministry and SAFE) with the first pickup date of 6/11.  The price for the weekly (full share) "Box of Blessings" of garden produce consisting of 7-8 items (with recipes and tips) will be $300 in which we seek sponsors to provide only 1/2 of the cost ($150) with a matching donation already provided for by an anonymous "angel".  The food recipients will be asked to pick up their boxes during garden hours and encouraged to grow with "taste and see that the Lord is good!" 

We are thankful for God's leading of our continued reaching out to our community by providing fresh produce to many as well as a means to help sustain our garden with funding for future plantings and leadership.  Please prayerfully consider sponsoring one of the 10 CSAs and/or share this request with your friends, neighbors, and co-workers..   If all goes well (and we have faith that "it WILL!"), we will be offering additional CSAs for the fall season to include anyone that wishes to buy in for themselves a weekly box (full shares/7-8 items and half shares/4-5 items) of fresh garden produce!

Our walk-in cooler (CoolBot) is under construction and we hope to be chillin' God's abundant blessings of produce by June 9th in time for our first CSAs to be harvested and packed for pickup!

We are also thankful for our new summer interns!  Garrett Rea and Taylor Smith have already planted roots in the garden through the sharing of their labor and love for the Lord with our garden family, at S.A.F.E. on Tuesday mornings, and many discussions of our future garden plans.

Thank you all for your love and support of our garden ministry.  It WILL be good!
Donna Poe
Garden Coordinator