This week, our first week as plot owners, six of us gathered in our church parking lot to walk to the garden together. It was great to talk about our experiences gardening and discuss what we would like to accomplish in the garden as people uniting with our community. Much of that first day we spend till the soil, adding compost to the plot, and weeding. I really enjoy weeding with my neighbors. There is something special that happens when people work together in this manner. Kelsy Joy filmed the happenings of the day and hopefully I’ll have that video posted soon. We worked away for two hours and by the time we finished, it looked great.
I spent Thursday alone in the garden which is a most spiritual experience. I got to pile bucket upon bucket of soil and manure to build up the soil in our plot. I counted 12-10 gallon buckets of manure and 10-10 gallon buckets of fresh mulch and soil mix. I turned the soil and prayed. This process was surprisingly quick. I was in the garden only 2 hours and had to carry the buckets by hand. The work is rewarding though. I met a few of the neighbors in the garden, Francisco and Rachel. Francisco just rented his plot two weeks ago and started growing food for his family of 5. Rachel works for Covenant House, a nonprofit organization which helps homeless teens. After hearing their stories I headed back to the church to put away the shovels and in the process, I stepped on a nail. I thought this was a good sign, especially since the event “forced” me to be helped by Dennis and Kat, members of my church whom I had yet to spend one-on-one time with. The battle wound created a sense of greater community not only in the garden but also with members of my church.
One of my friends from church came with me to purchase soil, compost, and seeds from a local nursery that specializes in local and organic worm castings/vermicompost and heirloom seeds. We got to the garden and added the bags of compost to the soil. By day three, the plot looked great. All we had left to do was purchase worms and let the soil remedy itself. We purchased the worms when we got back to the church, 250 red wiggler worms in fact. With the worms ordered and our soil well on it’s way, we announced the garden to our church family Sabbath morning.
It’s such a blessing to see God’s hand in all of this and to live by faith. Save the corners of your fields, oh Israel, for those less fortunate, those who come from far away lands, those who are lost, those without parents, those without homes, those without providers for their families, and for those who are hungry among you (see Lev. 19:9-12).