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Bill Wrin, our resident garden expert, wrote the following report from the garden late last week:

Jordan [his son] and I went out to the garden today. I dropped off about 5 gallons of compost from our kitchen. I turned the compost and added what I brought then covered it with a little bit of straw.

Next we inspected the plants. We clipped out the extra corn plants in the square foot corn beds. I was really surprised with the low germination rate of the store bought seeds. Only about 25-30% sprouted. You’d expect more from something that cost so much.

The tomatoes are looking good. There are small green fruits on the vine. It won’t be long before they’ll be ready. The basil plant is doing well. I cut a sprig off of it and made a sample of pesto for dinner.

I see that we have three truck loads of mulch waiting on us near the parking lot. What a workout!

There are some weeds, mostly grass, in all the beds now. That would be a good task for volunteers… Just make sure they know what is planted in each bed so they know what to leave in. The cilantro is so small it could be confused as a small weed.

The soil in the row garden is so hard. I see where the kids have been walking in it. They need to cultivate the soil near the plants. I can give a demo if they need it.

We could use some more of the straw spread out around the existing plants. No more than 6 inches deep, max. Ideally there should be no soil visible in the raised bed area. It should be entirely covered with plants, straw or mulch.

The zuccinis are looking strong.

The first area where I cleared weeds up to the fence is covered with poision ivy. I think we need a poison ivy assassin to come out with the special roundup that’s made for the devious little villians that gave me a dose that was at least 10 times worse than I’ve ever experienced. We need to get rid of it before there are more victims.

I’ve been saving milk jugs and two liter bottles so I can tote water. So far, haven’t needed any…

Talk to you soon,


Any takers on the poisen ivy demolition?! 🙂

Have a great week!


One of our volunteers was able to find a FREE shed for us on craigslist (gotta love technology), but we don’t have anyway of picking it up. The man giving the shed away lives in Glendale, so it isn’t a terribly far drive. Please contact me if you have a truck, or, even better, a trailer, and you would be willing to pick up a shed for the garden.

Hope you’re enjoying this speedy summer!

Hope everyone enjoyed the long holiday weekend! I was out of town, so I haven’t had a chance to get out to the garden in a few days. How’s it looking out there?!

Thanks to Linda who was out at the garden and planted some extra tomato plants!

Due to some new plans by the church and the neighboring development, we’re putting our bed-making plans on hold for now. We’re working on a “master plan” for the area to the north of the current parking lot, which we hope will include a larger garden area, some space for native plants and trees, among other ideas that will enhance the space.

For now, then, we’re pulling weeds, working on some rain collection devices, and taking care of our vegetables!

Check out today’s Noblesville Ledger for an article about the Grace Garden or read it online here.

Great job, Ryan and Keith!

Good work finds the way between pride and despair.
It graces with health. It heals with grace.
It preserves the given so that it remains a gift
By it, we lose loneliness:
we clasp the hands of those who go before us, and the hands of those who come after us;
we enter the little circle of each other’s arms…

Wendell Berry (Excerpt from What are People For?)

I went out to the garden by myself tonight (which I highly recommend, by the way). I don’t know about many of you, but my “day job” requires that I sit at a desk all day, in a cube-like “office” with no windows. I derisively call it my little cardboard box because that’s what it feels like to me. Most days, I’m not able to look back at what I’ve done for the day and see tangible results.

Hours at the garden are so different. The same is true for the hours spent in the garden in our backyard, but the immensity and the purpose of the Grace Garden give my hours there so much more meaning. I spent a few hours out at the garden tonight, tilling and shoveling and tilling some more. In all honesty, it’s pretty brainless work. As the sun begin to set and I prepared to go home, I looked back on what I’d done. A few short hours and some sweat out at the garden produces very real and tangible results. Results that will help to feed Shepherd families, and, eventually, other families in need around Hamilton County. 

Out at the garden, it isn’t about the amount of work that’s done, it’s about feeding hungry families with delicious homegrown food, about building community, about learning more about the creation God’s given us to nurture and protect…and, as I’m increasingly learning, it’s about giving the community that works the garden the opportunity to see very visible, very fruitful results for the time and energy we devote to it. These days, it seems like that’s harder and harder to come by.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings…hope to see you out at the garden enjoying the fruits of your labor soon!


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July 2008
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