Our new snap pea trellis grid, thanks to Carmen McAlister. I told her it didn’t have to be perfect, but probably should be as close to perfect as she could muster, just to be safe. She came through with a fine job of it.
Thanks to the Coelho small group for their gardening efforts this weekend. They report completion of their entire task list. Way to goes, Coehlos.
This week – the youth group returns! Praise God!
Also for placement on your radar, MLF/GG is having a big build day on the 19th of this month. They are calling it a “Permablitz”, which I thought was just a silly word they made up in honor of football season, but it is actually a “thing” – read about it here. To sign up go to http://mlf.org/volunteer/volunteersgg/ . They promise lots of labor, sweating and suffering, so skip your morning workout and come join us.
So we had a little bit of failure at the garden. Ok, a lot of failure. We lost like 75% of our Broccoli and Cauliflower transplants. Too much heat and too little watering. Mostly, the not watering part. They went in and it rained shortly after, so I thought, no biggie, it is 96 and dry now, they can make it. They could not. All the little planting tags were still there, presiding over dead or absent plants, tombstones memorializing my incompetence. Well, I always wanted to be remembered.
But, we are not deterred. The garden is one big metaphor for Christian life, so this weekend, we focused on the following – second chances, redemption, re-birth, forgiveness and some more of those seed parables (which must of really hit home with an agrarian society). So we replanted again. More transplants planted, more seeds sown.
We were joined by the Foulkrod Family and part of the Fowler family to work the garden. It was the first non-official meeting of the non-official Christ Church Fostering Group.
A little background – A couple of years ago, I was at the garden to meet the youth group when I felt Christ call for me and my family to start fostering children. It was definitely Jesus’ idea, because it sure wasn’t mine. It also sounded a lot like him, and not much like me. Now Christ is raising up more people at Christ Church to foster too! And they are all gullible enough to be tricked into garden work!
So we are thankful that Christ is using us, using the garden. It is good to see His hand in action and His work coming to fruition.
It all made me think of this song. I recently stumbled across this on a recommendation and recognized that we have sung it in church. It is Rend Collective Experiment and they are a bunch of Irish hispters. They would fit right in at the garden. But I digress. The song is “Build Your Kingdom Here”. I love it. Build it here – in this Church, in this Garden, in our Homes, in this City! Build it, we pray.
Also, what is that banjo / pogo stick / drum thing and can we get one for our worship band?
“Lead By Example” is one of those things people that train leaders are always going on and on about. So I decided that, since I am pushing for all of us to go volunteer at the main MLF garden after working at the CCG, I should get on over to the MLF Garden and see how it works. I hope all those leader teachers will be happy with me.
So I loaded up our two three year olds and we went out to the garden. Now, I think that anything that I can do with two three year olds is easy enough that anybody can do it. Also on this list – watch cartoons, and, well, I’ll keep you posted.
We showed up and were greeted by all involved and given a task that was suited to both the little ones and my skill set. Weeding!
I learned a couple of amazing things out there – 1) those little ones are good at weeding. Which I guess they should be, already so close to the ground and all grabby as they are. 2) Chickens will eat bermuda grass and make eggs! OK, I already knew that chickens made eggs, even though I missed that day in veterinary school. But I did not know that they eat, nay, prefer bermuda grass! They take in the bad of this world and make good things for all. Those chickens are leading by example.
We took plenty of breaks to play.
Heidi, who was running the show at the garden that day, showed us that they have cotton planted there. One of the friends of the garden had donated the seeds that she had saved from her childhood as a share croppers daughter some 80 plus years ago (pretty amazing story, but you have to go out there to hear it). So, we were allowed to harvest actual cotton bolls and talk about where our clothes come from. We discussed this for upwards of 20 seconds until the kids got bored and ran off.
Then, we had brunch! All the workers from the two separate MLF garden sites (there is the model village and a farm – again, you have to go out and see for yourself) gathered, prayed, ate and talked.
We wrapped up with some more playing.
So to summarize, we had a great time. We worked, we learned, we played, we ate and we formed community. We met the MLF team, other volunteers (including one lady that insisted that I make the kids wash their hands before eating! I mean really, a little dirt is good for you, right? Right?) and the formerly homeless that work with MLF.
A brief point worth noting – the same formerly homeless team members who helped CC build CCG are still working with Steven and Heidi at MLF (not counting Danny – who’s story you can read here.) I am not a trained missionary or philosopher or theologian or really qualified comment on the wondrous work of Jesus in anyway, but I suspect that the changed lives of Mike, Allan and Anthony = awesome. God is at work at MLF and GG. And in us at CCG! Yes, we are thankful!
There are now two (that is, 2!) different ways you and your group or family or self can serve at The Christ Church Garden -
Option 1) The traditional way – you either sign up by commenting on the fall schedule post or emailing me directly at email@example.com . Then you show up when you want, do the work that the garden requires that week (I’ll let you know what) and then go to brunch or lunch or just about your merry way. This way of volunteering in the garden is fast, easy, fun and has proven very accommodating to several groups. Our garden is located at 1702 Woodland Avenue Austin, TX 78741.
But some of you have requested that there be more connection with the main Genesis Garden / Mobile Loaves and Fishes groups as well as connection with the homeless and formerly homeless we serve. For those that are looking for more, we give you -
Option 2)! First, just like option 1 you sign up with Christ Church Garden by either commenting on the fall schedule post or emailing me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org . Then you -
- Go to http://mlf.org/community-first/volunteersgg/, scroll down until you see “Farm Development”.
- You click “sign up” for your date and when the sign up page comes up, there is a comment box. In that box, put that you are coming from Christ Church Garden and what time you expect to arrive (They ask that you arrive prior to 9:30 am). Also, give them your cell so they can contact you if anything changes.
- Their garden address is 5800 Johnny Morris Austin, TX 78724
So, after working at the Christ Church garden, you head over to the main Genesis Garden and work there. Awesome, huh? But wait, there’s more! After working at the main Genesis Garden, you gather for a community brunch provided onsite with the Genesis Garden team and other volunteers. You work, you serve, you break bread. Sounds Christ like, right? That’s because it is.
Check out our about page and the links located therein to learn more about CCG, MLF, GG and other combinations of capitalized letters.
Please comment or email with any questions.
The Fall garden is in the ground! And it looks beautiful.
Thanks to all who came out to plant. We really made pretty short work of it. We planted broccoli and cauliflower transplants; as well as carrot, radish, snap pea and cilantro seeds. That’s right people, it is the return of “things that go with ranch dressing” garden! It’s veg without stress. Or cooking. Except for maybe the cilantro – you could mix that into the ranch, right? Cilantro ranch dressing sounds pretty good. And pretty uppity, which I like, too. I don’t know what else we will do with the cilantro, it is just nice to have some herbs around.
We used the scattering of seeds as a jumping off point to discuss Mark 4 and the parable of the sower. The three above were nonplussed. Later, there was much more interest in the mouse that has taken up residence in our compost bins -
We got everything planted and then it was time to water. The Perry’s took turns spraying down the garden. Both complained that it hurt their thumbs. Which is true, it eventually cramps your thumb a bit. The trick is in switching over your beverage of choice and the hose from hand to hand simultaneously so you can rest the affronted thumb without setting said beverage down. This process is in no way helped by complaining, though.
What is Next?
The Chilton / McAlister SG will be out this Sunday. They will water, fertilize, weed and hopefully install some drip irrigation.