After years of gardening, and a good deal of instruction, our own Joy Kieffer published The Garden Journal, Planner & Log Book. Part of the proceeds of the book will go to support The Giving Garden. The book is available locally – simply contact us through this website, or it’s available here direct, which gives us a greater profit, or on Amazon.
We finally got that dreamed-for tool shed! It’s a wonder of organizational beauty, made for us with loving care by one of our favorite (and repeat) mission teams from Akron, Ohio, from Church on the Boulevard. I know it won’t stay this beautiful pristine white for long, but we’re sure enjoying it’s shiny newness! The outside is a lovely shade that sets off the larger shed and the garden as a whole.
As you can see, we had a very productive summer, especially when it comes to tomatoes! Our beds were filled and amended with the best soil imaginable thanks to the knowledge of our neighbor (lovingly called Farmer John,) and the tomatoes would have grown to six feet if we had not continually cut them back. We were able to provide fresh produce all summer long to the recipients of our food pantry.
Our garden gate was installed by a visiting mission team from Ohio. As soon as we have funds, we fervently hope to get perimeter fencing installed to keep out the neighborhood pets–a real necessity when it comes to providing healthy and uncontaminated vegetables.
We have plans to build a small tool shed so that volunteer gardeners have handy access to garden tools, and our rainwater system is still in the hoped-for stage. If anyone out there in internet land has the information on where to get the parts we need to make our barrels usable, please contact us.
May 28, 2012:
Wow, what a difference!
In less than a week we’ve gone from a barren yard with one lonely raised bed to an almost fully planted garden with six raised beds, room for two more, and a perimeter bed partially planted and waiting for seeds. Managers from several Home Depot stores came and worked for hours. They assembled the raised beds and filled them with topsoil and mulch, and tilled the perimeter beds, and covered them with topsoil. Volunteers from our food pantry and a few more also helped. Thank you, everyone!
Courtney and Todd Smith donated fifty starter plants, which filled the beds and more. With the help of one terrific volunteer and my two daughters, we planted all the donated starter plants in one morning. I’ve started making tomato cages based on our neighbor’s design. We still have to seed the rest of the perimeter beds that aren’t finished. Then it’s a matter of watering and watching out for evil weeds!
We should have a water supply line on the outside of the building soon, hopefully this week. We plan to get a timer and soaker hoses in place very shortly.
I priced out a short perimeter fence made up of stakes and wire to protect our produce from animals, and filled in the rabbit hole that is in the edge of the garden. Ouch! We need 94′ of fencing (forgot what the roll price was at the moment–$35 for 50 feet?) and 35 stakes at $2.67 each. A lot 99, as my daughter says.
I’m still trying to source the components for our rainbarrel manifold. If anyone knows where I can find a bung with male 3/4″ fitting to fill the holes in our drums, please let me know!
If you’re nearby and you would like to volunteer, please contact me. I would love to meet with you and share our plans for the garden.
May 9, 2012:
Home Depot is coming! Thursday, May 17th, volunteers from several Home Depot stores will be coming to build raised beds and fill them, set posts in concrete so we can hang our donated wrought iron gates, and several other smaller projects.
This raised bed is our first “seed” donation. When our neighbor heard that we planned to make a vegetable garden to compliment our food pantry, he built and planted this bed as a surprise! It’s beautiful and exactly what we need to make gardening effective and easy on the backs of the volunteers who come to help us.
We have plans for an incredible garden that will not only provide needed produce, but a place of respite and connection for those who come to serve and those who come for our services. We have room for seven more raised beds and a seating area where people can rest and connect. An overhead trellis will provide shade. A pair of beautiful antique iron gates were donated for a formal entry. With a surrounding fence, a small tool shed, water hook-up and an electric line, the entire project will cost about $5,000.
Won’t you consider helping us by volunteering or with a donation of cash or the things needed to build our garden? We have a complete project breakdown including the smallest hinge. Please contact us if you would like a copy of our project breakdown, or have something you think we may be able to use.