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I apologize for the late notice, but it’s such a beautiful day that we decided to schedule a group work day out at the garden – tonight! If you can make it, great! If not, there will be plenty more days to come.

We’re hoping to start around 6-6:30, and we’d love to have you! Bring your shovels, rakes, and work gloves, if you’re able to make it. And some water too!

Have a wonderful day!




Thanks to Curtis Honeycutt on the Grace Outreach Team for our very fancy new graphic! You’re so talented, Curtis. Make sure you tell him so next time you see him around…

On Monday, we had a group of Carmel Young Life high schoolers come out and work in the garden. We had a great time! They were a huge help – we finished another row of garden beds, and they brought enough mulch to the garden to cover all of the existing pathways. Stephen and Emily, Grace volunteers, also came out to help, and we all had a wonderful time working together.

Amy and Ken, two of our Grace volunteers, were kind enough to donate their tiller for our use out in the garden. We are SO thankful for their generosity! Now we have TWO tillers to use in our continuing bed-making project.

Check out the garden when you get a chance – the corn is sprouting! The weeds are beginning to sneak in, as well, so we could use your help in keeping those under control (just dump any weeds directly into the compost bins on the east side of the garden beds).

Keep bringing out your compost materials, and we’ll look forward to seeing you out at the garden soon!

Thanks for all you do!




Bill and his wife, Melissa, welcomed the newest member of their family, daughter Kylie Sue, at 7:46 this morning. Join me in welcoming Kylie to our garden family!

Congratulations Bill and Melissa!

Kim and Bill were the fearless garden leaders on Saturday morning. They organized and led the garden crew, starting around 8am and working past lunchtime. They had a great turnout…thanks to Tom, the Lanings, Ray, Amy and Carol for all of their help! From what I hear, the group did quite a bit of planting and mulching (thanks for the pickup truck, Ray!), as well as measuring out a few more beds for next time.

The group planted the following on Saturday:

  • beans
  • cantelope
  • watermelon
  • summer (yellow) squashcorn
  • cilantro
  • peas
  • cucumbers
  • leeks

If you’re at church this week, make sure you get out to the garden to check it out – it looks beautiful. I’ll post some more pictures in the next few days.

We’ll try to do more of these group work days, so we’ll hope to see you out at the garden soon! In the meantime, check the Tasks page to see what you can do during the week out at the garden.

Thanks so much to Bill and Kim and the rest of the crew for all of your time and help!

Have a great week!


The Shepherd kids were out at the garden for the first time yesterday. They planted some corn and tilled some rows at the southern edge of the garden, from what I hear.

We made great progress with the planting beds last week. Now that we have a good start, we’re only going to till and make beds as a group, so be sure to contact me, if you’re interested in making the beds (or have a tiller to share).

Now that we have some beds to work with, it’s time to get some seeds in the ground. Come out Saturday morning, if you’re available, to help plant the rest of the beds, as well as possibly (depending on the weather) make more beds. We’ll be starting around 8am, and we’d love to meet you!

If possible, bring the following with you:

  • Hand trowels
  • Shovels
  • Garden (metal) rakes
  • Wheelbarrows or wagons – there is ALOT of mulch that needs to be spread in the garden paths
  • Work gloves

Don’t forget water and sunscreen for yourself. If it’s raining, we’ll reschedule. If you can’t make it Saturday morning, but want to help out some other time over the weekend, bring your wheelbarrows and shovels to move the mulch from the north end of the parking lot to the garden paths in the garden.

Also, if you happen to have any extra seeds that you didn’t plant this year and are willing to share, we’d love to have them…feel free to bring them with you on Saturday.

Thanks so much for all of your time and help…hope to see you Saturday morning!

As mentioned previously, we have about 100 tomato plants in the ground, and Bill and his son planted several beds of sweet corn this past weekend. We are hoping that the Shepherd kids will finish planting the rest of the seeds and seedlings this week that they have been collecting. It has been too wet out at the garden to continue with the bed project, but check out the Garden Tasks page, if you have time to make it out to the garden this week. Broadripple Tree Company donated about 10 yards of mulch that needs to be transported from the north end of the parking lot to the garden to be used in the garden pathways. 

As the title suggests, we could also use your kitchen refuse! Because our garden is an organic one, we need your help in collecting organic matter to be used to feed (fertilize) the plants. Bill made about five of these:

We will be filling these cylinders with organic material, and then using the resulting compost to feed our garden. Check out this site for a listing of materials suitable for composting. Grace has agreed to save all of their used coffee grounds after every weekend for our use, so that will be a great start! I just keep a small grocery bag by my sink to collect kitchen refuse (broccoli stalks, potato skins, egg shells) and then take it down to my compost bin every few days. Now, I’ll just plan on taking it over to the garden every few days instead. Every little bit helps, so we appreciate any suitable trash you’re willing to share! 

Good items for composting include: melon rinds, carrot peelings, tea bags, apple cores, banana peels – almost everything that cycles through your kitchen. Grass clippings, leaves, and pine needles also make good additions. However, meat, meat products, dairy products, and high-fat foods like salad dressings and peanut butter, as well as pet droppings, are not suitable for the compost pile.

For more information on composting and its benefits, check out the following sites:

  • Benefits of Composting and How-To Resources
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Facts and Figures
  • Read this and this to get you thinking about how much food we waste – composting keeps that wasted food out of landfills where it contributes to climate issues and into our garden where it helps us grow bigger, better vegetables for our extended family down at Shepherd Community

Keep checking back on the Garden Tasks site for volunteer updates and garden jobs…thanks for all of your time and help!

I finally remembered my camera when I went out to the garden on Sunday. I should have taken before and after shots to see how much we were able to accomplish last week, but just picture a flat section of dirt…and then this:

view of garden beds
View of beds from dirt road – 30+ beds

Another view of beds – we’ll be moving northward (to the left from this vantage point) building beds from this four-foot path

Here’s a report from Bill Wrin, our resident garden expert:

My son, Jordan, and I went to the garden today. We planted five and a half beds of corn. The seed went way farther than I expected. Each of the beds with the new corn seed are labeled. Four of the beds have two rows each (traditional type rows) and the other bed and a half have been planted using the square foot method.

We brought about a dozen heaping wheelbarrow fulls of wood chip mulch from the big pile near the parking lot. The mulch is spread between the corn beds. There is tons more mulch left in the pile. It’s awesome that someone was willing to bring us the wood chips.

Tasks for volunteers would be to bring the mulch from the pile to the garden and spread it between the beds. Wagons and or wheelbarrows are almost required for this task. Shovels may be good to pick up the chips but I used a good garden fork.

Another task is to wait for the soil to dry after rain and chop it up around each plant to create what is called a “dust mulch. ”  This can be done using a hoe or hand cultivator.

Of course removal of any weeds near the plants is what every one probably already knows that needs to be done in the garden. There aren’t really many weeds that need attention yet.

When the soil is just right is when we need to make new beds. Today it may have been too wet and it is raining again… We’ll get it done but it may take a while. Next time it rains we will be able to get right into the mulched beds for tending.

Talk to you soon,


I forgot to take my camera out to the garden last night. I would try to draw a sketch of it for you, but it would probably come out looking like a giant blob due to my lack of artistic ability.

We were able to complete two more full rows of beds last night! Thanks to Scott, Tom, Katie and Kim for all of their help and hardwork! Special thanks to Carolyn and Dean Omori, who have loaned us their tiller, because we couldn’t make the beds without it.

As of last night, we’ve completed 30 beds, and it is really looking like a garden out there. Make sure you go check it out if you haven’t already. We will continue to create the beds throughout the summer, moving north toward the mound at the far edge of the property from where the beds are currently. We’re hoping that the Shepherd kids will be able to plant next week – both in the existing beds and just in traditional rows toward the southern area of the garden. We would love to have enough beds for planting, but, at this point, it is more important to get things planted.

Starting next week, we should be ready to resume the “normal” volunteer schedule that I sent out a few weeks ago. I will communicate to those volunteers assigned for each week as to what needs to be done that week via the Tasks link, so be sure to check that page prior to heading to the garden on your specified day.

Unfortunately, we can’t just send out volunteers to build the beds on their own because there has to be a tiller out at the garden in order for us to able to till up enough dirt to 1) clear the walkways and 2) build the beds. So we have to wait until a group of us can come out there with the tiller and who are knowledgeable about the layout of the garden. Soon, though, there will be plenty of work to keep us all busy…pulling weeds, mulching, composting, pulling more weeds, watering…

I’m anxious to meet all of you soon!

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June 2008
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