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Going Local reports on Nature’s Crossroads, a new local venture hoping to increase the supply of local organic seeds and promote organic gardening here in Indiana.  Nature’s Crossroads has also started an organic gardening fundraiser geared toward school-aged children.

Check out this great opportunity to get your children and local schools involved in gardening!

Report back to us on ways that you get your children, families or local schools involved in gardening.

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If lucy_eatlocalyou’re concerned about eating closer to home, you need to know what is in season and when it is in season here in Indiana.

Check out this link at epicurious.com to see what’s in season around the country throughout the year.

If you have an iphone/itouch, check out the Locavore app, so you’ll have this information with you wherever you are.

Check here for upcoming events and training for the Purdue Master Gardener’s Program.

Leave a comment if you’re planning to attend any of these events, and you can possibly coordinate with other Grace Gardeners!

We are approaching our official launch of the 2009 Grace Garden, and we need your help! We have made several changes this year in an effort to address some of the challenges from last year and create a more sustainable garden model.

Below is the Mission and Vision Statement that we have developed for the Grace Garden. Specifically, in the next few weeks, we are looking for committed plot leaders willing to lead and organize a garden plot and those plot’s volunteers (we are hoping for 6-10 volunteers per plot). Please review the Mission and Vision statement below and contact me if you are interested in learning more about becoming a plot leader for the Grace Garden.

Looking forward to working and learning together in the coming year!

Sara

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GRACE GARDEN MISSION & VISION STATEMENT

Mission

The Grace Garden purpose is three-fold:

  • Feed in-need Grace families and other in-need families in the community with fresh, whole, nutritious and organically-grown food and use any surplus proceeds to provide funding for other garden start-ups (i.e. provide funding to Shepherd to expand their garden)
  • Model Creation Care for the Grace community
  • Provide an opportunity for Grace people to get involved in a Creation Care ministry, learn about sustainability and provide for their families and the larger community.

Concept

We hope to create a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) garden that will feed garden shareholders and volunteers. Typically, a CSA consists of individuals who pledge support to a garden in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the garden in return for shares from the garden’s bounty. The Grace Garden will donate the first ten percent of its yields from all garden plots to in-need Grace families and to Third Phase, a local Frontline ministry that serves those in need in Hamilton County. Any profits from the CSA will be donated to Shepherd Community Center to support their gardening efforts for community families at Shepherd.

The Grace Garden will operate like a CSA with the following cost and volunteer structure:

Shareholder Type

Cost

Volunteer Requirement

Tier One Shareholder

$100 for ten weeks of produce

None

Volunteer Shareholder

$25 for ten weeks of produce

3-5 hours per week in the garden

Sponsors

$100 for ten weeks of produce donated to a family of their choice or to Third-Phase

None

Plot Leaders

None

Time necessary to lead their portion of the garden, schedule assigned volunteers, etc.; ultimately responsible for plot production

During the ten weeks of production, shareholders will be expected to come to the garden during a designated time and day each week (to be determined) to pick their share of the produce for that week.

If you are interested in a leadership position but not in taking on the role of a Plot Leader, we are in need of your help, as well. Please contact Sara Sterley (sarasterleyatyahoo.com) for more information.

If you are interested in volunteering with the garden, but not being a Volunteer Shareholder, there is plenty for you to do! Please contact Sara Sterley (sarasterleyatyahoo.com) for more information.

Plot Leader Expectations

The Grace Garden Plot Leaders are integral to the garden’s success. We have developed the following list of Plot Leader expectations. Some expectations are more important than others, and the Garden Leadership Team will work with potential Plot Leaders to ensure that potential leaders understand the responsibility associated with their position.

Expectations include the following:

  • Some gardening experience
  • Responsible for designing your specific plot
  • Responsible for plot productivity and contribution to the CSA
  • Commitment to organic pest management and fertilization
  • Physical capability to do the necessary work (e.g. tilling, weeding, spreading, etc.)
  • Willingness to recruit and retain garden volunteers
  • Organize and shepherd your plot team
  • Minimum of five hours per week (may be less/more depending on the time of the season)

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