Harvests are in!!

The spring harvest is coming in and we have already taken 28 pounds of greens and radishes to Manna Food Bank for our neighbors in need. We have also been harvesting snow peas and sugar snap peas. Most of the summer crop is planted: tomatoes, corn, green peppers, eggplant, squash, beans, and basil. The only thing that is missing is you. Come volunteer at the Black Mountain Home for Children Garden Project with us this Saturday or any Saturday through September from 9:00 -11:00 am. No experience is necessary. We will show you what to do. Just bring drinking water and gloves if you have them.

Directions to the Garden Project: From Asheville, take I-40 East to Exit 59, Swannanoa. Turn left at the traffic light, and then right at the next light onto Highway 70. At the next traffic light turn left onto Whitson Ave and then right at the stop sign onto Old US 70. Follow this road for almost 2 miles to the next traffic light. Turn left onto Lake Eden Road. Look for the Garden Project sign before you get to the main entrance of the Home and turn right into the lower fields area near the stone silo.



June 16, 2012

 The Lord has continued to bless our garden since my last post almost a month ago!  The peas, spring raab broccoli, radishes, Appalachian mixed greens, and cress have been producing.  We have taken the first 32 pounds of our harvest to Manna Food Bank as well as gardeners taking smaller quantities home.  Our broccoli, collards, cabbage and beans keep growing and growing.  The 500+ sweet potatoes slips received enough rain to take root and are getting ready to send out runners.


The Children’s Home received a large donation of tomato, pepper, eggplant, and basil seedlings.  A hard working crew of volunteers planted many rows of these crops between the rows of mulched cardboard.  We have been staying ahead of the weeds thanks to the mulch, tilling, and a great deal of diligent hoeing and weeding by volunteers.

Jane showed Lee where to cut lots of sturdy bamboo.  Then Bill and Sandy Reid worked hard at putting up bamboo trellises for the peas and Kentucky Wonder beans.  Jane, Carlson, Sandy and Faye have carefully added twine, and the grateful beans are winding their way towards the top.  The snow peas and wando shelling peas are about done, but the Mammoth Melting Sugar Snaps are climbing higher and continuing to blossom and produce.

Our Children’s Garden is beginning to take shape thanks to the seeds planted by First Pres children.  Cherokee Sun and Stars watermelons are growing spotted leaves and pumpkins are producing their first bright yellow flowers.  Royal Burgundy bush beans are producing flowers and tiny dark purple beans.  Our sunflower house is at the foundation level, but growing.  Our bush cucumbers are small, but still we dream of pickles.

Lee, our garden leader from Montreat Presbyterian EPC and original gardener at BMHC, has become the roto-tiller king.  He has used the tiller to keep the weeds at bay in the unplanted parts of the garden, and has tilled the soil prior to planting new crops.   After tilling a good-sized area for corn, he insisted on planting three rows of corn saying that was the fun part!

The garden actually has several new inhabitants.  Two scarecrows made at the FPC-Asheville church picnic have been guarding each of the fields.  Susie Jamison helped the children in FPC’s Bible Journeys make a terrific scarecrow that is guarding our newly planted corn patch.  The two lop-eared goats in the adjacent pasture have been joined by three new goats with horns.  Most miraculously, a baby donkey is now frolicking around the pasture with its mother and the other female donkey.  What a sweet surprise!

We’re always amazed by the volunteers that show up on Saturday mornings.  Michael and Nicholas Poulos have taken time from their busy weekends to show up and help several times.  Bren and Joe Dendy have also graced our fields with 1-year-old Quinn. We continue to be blessed by volunteers from different faith communities.

Last Saturday Jane and Lee were concerned about leaving Ann alone to tend the garden.  So Lee enlisted Edward at Montreat Presbyterian EPC to come and bring in volunteers.  Thus Lyn and his children, Caitlyn and Joseph, and Chris and Christina with 4-year-old Laney arrived ready to help.  Mila and Taylor, who have become “regulars” at the garden, also answered the call.  Sandy Reid and Carlson rounded out our group.  While Carlson, Lyn, and Caitlyn hoed and weeded the sweet potato field before the runners take off, Edward, Chris, and Christina hoed the crops in the other field.  Joseph kept Laney busy feeding the goats and exploring around the garden. Sandy picked peas and worked on the trellises, adding higher strings to accommodate the growing vines.   Taylor worked on the trellises and planted the rest of the new corn patch, while Mila planted beets and carrots.

We closed with a prayer circle thanking God for providing willing hands and hearts as well as the sunshine, rain, and rich soil needed to grow our garden.  Laney chimed in with Amen at just the right moment. Edward encouraged us to keep showing up and likened weeding our garden to inspecting our character and behavior to weed out that which is not fruitful or pleasing to God.  What a wonderful gardening meditation!


Sacred Acts- book signing by Mallory McDuff

Mallory McDuff teaches environmental education at Warren Wilson College, she is the author of Natural Saints, and her new book Sacred Acts: How Churches are Working to Protect the Earth’s Climate. Mallory was here last year during our Creation Care Week in May to teach a Faith Development class about the connection between the environment and justice.

On Thursday, June 28th, she and a few guests will share a reading and book signing at Malaprop’s.

CLICK HERE to go to the Malaprop’s website for details and directions.


Special Collection for Hard-to-Recycle Items:  First Rotating Quarterly Recycling Collection for West Buncombe

Rainbow Recycling is collaborating with Curbside Management, Asheville GreenWorks, E-cycleUs and Trash, Inc. Creative Reuse Center to sponsor a special recycling collection on Saturday, June 9, 2012, 10am-2pm at Aaron’s (Park Terrace Center) at 1298 Patton Avenue, Asheville.  A wide array of hard-to-recycle items – those not accepted in your regular curbside recycling – will be collected at this event along with a few other select items.  Some articles will be given or made available to those who can reuse them, such as packaging, flower pots, towels and blankets (animal care) and eyeglasses.

This event is an opportunity to responsibly dispose of that abundant and troublesome material –Styrofoam.  Rainbow Recycling and Postage Express will happily take it along with other packaging material (bubble wrap, air pillows, foam sheeting, paper) for reuse or recycling.  All packaging items must be sorted and bagged, free of tape, glue and grease.

NOT taken – Styrofoam food service containers or upholstery, insulation or colored foam.

Needing to rid yourself of those bulky plastic objects such as lawn furniture, yard toys, buckets and garbage cans?  Curbside Management will be on site to help you out.  Flower pots will be available to local growers and gardeners for reuse.  Curbside will also be collecting hardback, paperback, and phone books and cardboard.

E-CycleUs will accept your electronics – computers and related equipment and accessories, audio/video equipment, and all small batteries.  There is a $6.00 handling fee for TV’s and CRT monitors.  Other items will be channeled into recycling fundraiser programs.  Isaac Dickson Elementary PTA will take small handheld electronics (cell phones, PDA’s, iPods and iPads, e-readers, MP3 players, digital cameras and chargers); Francine Delany New School for Children and Rainbow Recycling will benefit from collected printer, copier, and fax cartridges.  In addition, Asheville GreenWorks will accept CD’s and DVD’s for recycling.

Individually bagged CFL’s (no fluorescent tubes) will be taken by Lowe’s.  Rainbow Recycling will collect small appliances for recycling (no oil-filled radiator-type space heaters).  Trash, Inc. will take other metals and wire for reuse or recycling as well as plastic gift cards and old credit cards for artist reuse.

Unusable clothing and fabric will go to ABCCM (Asheville-Buncombe CommunityChristian Ministry) for their recycling fundraiser while towels and blankets will get reused by Asheville Humane Society in their care for animals.  This shelter will also take small stuffed animals (non-pellet) and baby teething rings, and cat/dog toys and crates.  Useful in their work and also accepted at this event are empty cardboard shoe boxes, plastic storage bins, spices, beef and chicken bouillon.

Prescription eyeglasses (in any condition) will be given to The Optical Shoppe for reuse in “The Gift of Sight” program.  Your used cooking oil will be gratefully accepted by The Cooking Oil Recycling Program for conversion to biodiesel fuel by Blue Ridge Biofuels.

Please note that this event runs for just four hours – 10am – 2pm.  No early or late drop-offs; accepting listed items ONLY.  For your convenience, there will be two options available – “park and drop” (easy if you have few, easy-to-carry items) and “drive-thru” (helpful if you have large quantities, bulky/heavy items; volunteers will assist).

For general questions, contact Rainbow Recycling, (828) 669-5459,info@rainbowrecycling.org, before June 9.  If you have specific questions about accepted items, please contact the appropriate vendor (see flyer posted onwww.ashevillegreenworks.org) or request by e-mail from Rainbow Recycling.  More volunteers are needed; if you would like to help at this event (two hour shift for set-up, collection, or closing), contact Gail at 298-0538.

The next Hard-to-Recycle Collection in this program will rotate back to East Buncombe in early September. Please carefully consider your purchase and disposal choices so that our children and grandchildren will have the resources they need and a clean environment for their lives.

Rainbow Recycling was awarded a 2012 Spotlight Award for the Hard-to-Recycle Event from the Carolina Recycling Association at its annual conference at the Grove Park Inn in March.

A Serious Way to Make A Difference.

Shared from the original article here: Presbyterians for Earth Care

We can do it: 600 messages to EPA by 6/20. Let’s lower U.S. Carbon Emissions 

PEC has set an ambitious short-term goal: 600 by 6/20. Will you help us achieve it?

By June 20, we want 600 people from the PEC network to send a comment to the EPA, urging EPA to take a strong stand in restricting future power plant carbon dioxide emissions. All comments are due for counting by June 20.
The EPA has proposed a new carbon rule that would set carbon dioxide emission limits for new power plants. Setting a standard to reduce carbon emissions from new power plants will help slow climate change and ensure future reductions in US carbon emissions. PEC is joining the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Programs and many other partners in urging the EPA to ensure the final carbon rule be at least as strong as the proposed rule set forth in this docket. This is the first opportunity we have had in this country to regulate greenhouse gas