SPROUT! April 21, 2012

April 21, 2012

Oops!  Last week seemed to fly by without me writing about the happenings at the garden.  So here’s a somewhat delayed account of our fabulous progress.

Today we were blessed to be joined by Robin from Biltmore Baptist East. Lee, who was gardening  at BMHC before Jane discovered this incredible gift of fertile farmland, was there as usual along with his church mates Taylor and Mila from Montreat Presbyterian Church.  After jumping in the creek, Spring, Taylor and Mila’s chocolate lab rescue dog, was tied and patiently waited in the parking area.

Lee decided to start rows running parallel to the creek that borders this rich bottomland.  Our 85 foot long row of peas continues to be doing well, but we are concerned about the erosion the spring rains have caused on our other rows that gradually slope downward toward the creek.

Lee brings large cardboard furniture boxes from Tyson’s in Black Mountain.  Our task is to cut them into the longest three foot strips possible.  We must cut off or remove metal staples and tape as these are not biodegradable materials.  This work can be tedious, but God reminds us that these are not natural material that can decompose over time.

Each piece of cardboard placed in rows between our planting areas will reduce weeds in our 65 or 85 feet rows and biodegrade into our garden soil in a couple of years.  We plan to cover our cardboard with wood chips that will act as mulch in dry periods and will also decompose in time adding nutrients to our garden topsoil.  This method of gardening is beautifully described in the film Back to Eden which can be viewed at  http://backtoedenfilm.com/ .

Ever heard this saying?  “Many hands make light work.”  It is truly amazing how much can be accomplished by the grace of God and ten hands in two hours!   Seven rows of cardboard, each 65 feet long, were cut and prepared.  Each piece of cardboard was covered with garden soil along the edges to help hold it in place.  This was the day that we could begin to see that the massive job of covering our garden walkways with cardboard was becoming a reality.

BMHC Garden Project

Take me out to the garden.  Take me out to plant seeds, please!

The Garden Project at the Black Mountain Home for Children is in full swing and this year there is a special area for children to plant. In March and April the elementary children planted seeds for the garden in their Sunday School classes. The bean, pumpkin, sunflower, watermelon, and cucumber seeds planted in mid-April should be ready to be transplanted into the garden by mid-May.

Parents are invited to bring their child/children on Saturday, May 12 from 9:00 – 11:00 am to plant the seedlings in the Children’s Garden. This special part of the garden will feature a Sunflower House and Butterfly Garden as well as crops to be planted, tended, and harvested.

All adults, children, and youth are encouraged to come to the garden on any Saturday from 9:00 – 11:00 am. There is always something fun to do in the garden and no experience is necessary. The garden is located in a beautiful setting off old Highway 70 on Lake Eden Road with views of surrounding mountains, the nearby stream with a covered bridge and fountain, and two humble donkeys. (PHOTOS HERE)

Contact Ann Kieffer (annfkieffer@bellsouth.net) or Jane Laping (janelaping@sbcglobal.net) for more information or possible carpooling.

A sign-up sheet for May 12 will be placed at the Creation Care Table in the Wallace Foyer. Please bring water and be aware there are no restroom facilities available for our use.

Garden Project Sprouting!!

Garden Project is Sprouting

The spring crop is almost all planted at the Black Mountain Home for Children Garden Project and the peas, collards, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and beets are already sprouting. Volunteers are welcome any Saturday from 9:00 – 11:00 am to help plant, prune, cultivate, and pick produce for local food banks. Read our blog and see pictures HERE.

April 28 is a special day for First Presbyterian members and friends to gather as a group at the Garden to see how our Creator provides food for us from tiny seeds full of life. While you are there, Jane Laping and Ann Kieffer will show you what needs to be done and how to do it.

When you go, look for the Garden Project sign on Lake Eden Road before you get to the main entrance to the Home, and turn right into the lower fields near the stone silo. Please bring drinking water and be aware that there is no bathroom for volunteers to use.  If you would like to carpool, call the church office or e-mail pgibbs@fpcasheville.org.

Creation Care week!!!

It’s almost Earth Day, which means it is close to the time we celebrate by drawing our focus onto creation. The Creation Care Team has a diverse array of activities to share this month.  Find something that is right for you!

April 21  *meet at church at 9:00am* Join with the youth of our church to clean up litter of all sizes and shapes along the French Broad or Swannanoa Rivers. We usually finish around 11:00am. If you have wellies or rain boots, they are helpful but not necessary.

April 25  Our Wednesday night dinner will feature local foods prepared by our resident chef, Char Frellick.

April 28 *9:00 – 11:00 am* Come work in the Garden at the Black Mountain Home for Children

*UPDATE* April 29  Our worship services will focus on Creation Care and we will gather at 2:00pm in the parking lot at the Botanical Garden at UNC-A for a Wildflower stroll led by Marilyn Kolton. All ages are welcome to explore together and look at the wide variety of living things that God has put on earth.