May 19, 2012
What a wonderful surprise to arrive at the garden and see that the youth from Black Mountain Home had covered all our cardboard pathways with 3 – 4 inches of wood chips! After many Saturdays spent cutting and laying cardboard in our pathways to help control weeds, it was gratifying to see it all covered. After decomposing for a year these wood chips will serve as mulch for next year’s garden.
Jane urgent “call to hoes” to plant 500 sweet potato slips brought together a wonderful group of gardeners from several different faith communities. We were blessed with people from Warren Wilson Presbyterian, Swannanoa Presbyterian, Isight Church that meets on the Home’ s campus, and Black Mountain Presbyterian. Ann brought her friend Carlson, a long time farmer from Yancey County that currently spends the majority of the year in Belize. Michael Poulos, Joe, Bren and Quinn Dendy, and Sandy Reid from First Pres rounded out the work force for the day.
While a few folks patiently weeded and thinned part of the existing garden, the majority of gardeners started hoeing up long ridges of soil in our adjacent half acre field. While some folks continued to make ridges, other started planting sweet potato slips. Water from the nearby creek was mixed with fish emulsion to give each slip a little bit of moisture and organic fertilizer. Hoers, planters, and waterers worked the rows for almost two hours. We wondered if someone had really counted out 500 slips and came to believe we had more as more rows had to be added. With so much help we were able to get everything planted in time to close with a prayer of thanksgiving and hope for our garden to flourish.
May 12, 2012
Today was the day the garden really started looking like we were growing food! Lee and Susie were already at work when I arrived. Soon after that Mila and Taylor arrived with their lab, Spring, in tow.
As well as peas, we could now see the broccoli, collard, creasy greens, carrot, radish, daikon, and mixed appalachian greens seeds we had planted were alive and well. Two long rows of Kentucky Wonder Beans planted the week before by Lee and volunteers from First Baptist of Black Mountain were poking their leafy heads through the soil! These volunteers had also started spreading wood chips on our cardboard paths before the rain moved in.
Paul from the Black Mountain Home had brought us many donated broccoli and cabbage plants and a few beets too. Susie weeded the peas and started thinning and transplanting the cabbage, filing in the empty spaces with the donated plants. Taylor and Mila made a great team thinning, transplanting, and filling in with the broccoli and planting two more rows. Faye showed up and worked on thinning and transplanting collards, as well as planting more cabbage and beets. Lee ran the rototiller in the unplanted parts of the garden in an effort to keep ahead of the weeds that were starting to grow. He also put in another row of cabbage at the bottom of our field before we all agreed we had more broccoli and cabbage plants than we needed.
Later Kris arrived with his two young boys. Kris helped hoe in the newly planted rows while giving his boys their first gardening lesson. The boys enjoyed seeing the two baby goats “like memaw’s” even more. I encouraged them to come back to see the Children’s Garden and get a closer look at those goats next time.
We ended our gardening with a prayer circle thanking God for providing us with great soil, rain, sunshine, a beautiful garden space, and all the helping hands needed to accomplish the day’s tasks.
We will be planting in the second half-acre field and will need as many hands as we can get.
- No experience is necessary.
- Just bring a bottle of water, work gloves if you have them, and a desire to feed the hungry and we will show you what to do.
The Garden Project is in the lower fields near the stone silo. Turn right into the drive marked with the Garden Project sign before you get to the main entrance to the Home on Lake Eden Road. Remember to bring drinking water and be aware that there is no bathroom for volunteers to use. Contact Jane at 277-7342 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.