What Up With That – Christmas Edition

Not much happening in the garden right now in the way of work or volunteerism. It is kind of taking care of itself over the Christmas Holiday.
I did go out and harvest two more servings of snap peas. They look pretty tasty. Ok, they are pretty tasty. I had to try a few to see which ones to include in the harvest. It’s called quality control, people.
Some broccoli is coming on well

Some cauliflower is not

That’s all that’s happening for now.
For those wondering about the terms “permablitz” and “double digging” and “Monty Don”, there you go.

What Up With That – December edition

The garden continues to thrive in spite of recent cold temperatures. That is the beauty of the Texas gardening season, you can grow something year round.
I harvested a ton (ok, three servings) of snap peas.





I’m considering our own miniature “permablitz” (not a good idea without really, really good cornerbacks) where we will double dig our garden Monty Don style. More on that later.

What Up With That – November Edition

The garden grows! Turnips and some radishes have been harvested. More on the radishes later.

Special thanks to members of the Chilton / McAlister Small Group for working last weekend. I met them, one was named Matt, which was an easy name for me to remember. So Matt and them, thanks!

Seth Henry, that stalwart yeoman of garden labor (I’ve been watching a lot of college football lately and am beginning to sound like an announcer) is hitting the garden this Saturday.

So, the radishes. They were rad-ish and radishing and, well,  that is all the radish puns I have for now. The above gang harvested them (or actually, their children did) with great care and then handed them over to me to prepare and deliver to MLF for distribution to the homeless. Fresh radishes, yes!

Actually, no.

I trimmed and cleaned and rinsed and dried them. I packaged them and put them in the crisper drawer.

here they are! Red, purple, white! Crisp and delicious!

here they are! Red, purple, white! Crisp and delicious!

And then later that night, I came down with the most unlikable stomach flu I have encountered in quite some time. As I lay on my comfortable bed, in my climate controlled house, within feet of my own personal toilet, I thought “I cannot give those radishes that I handled to the homeless. I cannot give the homeless this illness.” I also thought, “this is the worst” and “kids are walking petri dishes, little nasty germ dispensers. I never used to be sick before we had children!”

Lets focus on the first thought, though. I did not give the radishes to the homeless. More importantly, I prayed and am praying for the homeless that are ill. I don’t know what else to say but that my heart breaks for them. We’ve all been ill. It is the worst. Can you imagine being sick on the street? No toilet. No medications. No comfort.

I doubt I am the first person that this problem has occurred to. I bet there are things we can do to help. I will look into it and post here. But, for now, please pray. For God the Healer! The Comforter!

This is not the way it is meant to be. Use us, Lord! Build Your Kingdom here!

What Up With That – October 29th edition


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.

gg102913b Ravishing Radishes. That name is still unused by any major groups, if you are looking for a new band name.

gg102913c The usual view. Looking good.gg102913d

What Up With That – October 7th 2013 edition

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.

What Up With That – October 1st Edition

Here Lies Broccoli

Here Lies Broccoli

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.

Fall Planting (Again!)

Fall Planting (Again!)

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?

The Main Mobile Loaves and Fishes’ Garden Experience

“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!

Weeding with Wondergirl! You know you always wondered what she did in her spare time.

Weeding with Wondergirl! You know you always wondered what she did in her spare time.

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.

Rakes, horses, what's the difference

Rakes, horses, what’s the difference

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.

Learning! Education!

Learning! Education!

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.



Two fine examples of brunch fare

Two fine examples of brunch fare

We wrapped up with some more playing.

Just a swingin'

Just a swingin’

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!