February 24th

2-7-09: Front Veggie Garden Planted

I’ve taken on a new community project that I am really excited about. It was mentioned at church a few months ago that our conference is pushing for facilities to become more “green.” Considering our church was built nearly 100 years ago, the windows leak, the roof could certainly use solar panels and we could probably do a better job of recycling. One thing we do have going for us is a lot of land and grandfathered water rights via regular irrigation.

When the community garden idea was mentioned, I jumped. I formed a committee of local folks I thought would be interested in having a stake — including a refugee organization nearby that is looking for land for their clients to use, a hunger organization trying to find new methods of helping those in need and a local Green Guru who I’ve admired from afar for many years. We are quickly making progress. This weekend we decided after surveying the land to start with a citrus orchard, and transplant several date palms shooting from the mama, which came from a seed brought back by a congregant who’d visited Israel. This week I’m making tree cut-outs to sell after service Sunday. For $25, anyone interested can buy a citrus tree for the orchard. They can come to help plant them in the next couple of weeks and eventually help pick the fruit — if they are interested. Or, they can just give a bit ofย  “seed money” to help support the project.

Eventually, the garden will also include a dozen 3’x4′ plots that we’ll divy among refugee families, community members and anyone from the church who wants to garden too. The fruit from the orchard, which will eventually include peach and fig trees too, and the vegetables from the church plots will, in theory, be given to hungry families in the congregation and the area. This church sits in a not-so-ideal section of town, so hunger is an issue — especially for produce.

I’ve been talking/planning/dreaming of a large space to garden for years. While the opportunity to buy a larger home for just such a reason hasn’t yet presented itself, this incredible stroke of luck has. In the process, we’ll get to know those who live near the church, introduce refugees and congregants and hopefully get some good, organic and nutritious food to those who need it most. If you live in the Phoenix area and are interested in getting involved, the more the merrier! We’d love to have your support and your elbow grease to see this grassy lot turn into something much more beautiful.

Happily, I’ll be posting the progress as we plant these seeds!


Posted in
Arizona, Community, Faith, Goals, Happy Hippie
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22 Responses

  1. This sounds like such a great idea. I’m excited to see the progress.

  2. Cool idea! Can’t wait to hear updates.

  3. What a wonderful idea! Keep us posted on the progress and have fun!

  4. This is terrific – a real win-win situation for all!

  5. That’s fantastic! Happy gardening!

  6. Outstanding!

  7. What a great project, Kelli! It serves any number of purposes and one I think worth mentioning is that it teaches people they can learn new skills and ways to help themselves as well as helping others. Good for you for getting this committee going.

  8. This is great! Excited to watch your garden grow!!! (I may be even to help out on a weekend or something…)

  9. Karel aka SWS aka Moms February 24, 2009

    I love this idea! I recently saw in a magazine where this idea developed BIG time in Boston, neighborhoods took small plots and planted, then shared with their neighborhood. The aerial view was so pretty, small dots of color amid buildings, etc. It can really pull a community back together too.

  10. yay! Your big garden lives! And you won’t have to worry about WHO WILL EAT ALL THESE ORANGES?

  11. Wow, you’re amazing — what a great idea. Best of luck with this new project!!! Keep us posted ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. That is awesome, and you are just going to love it! Pretty soon you will be as addicted to gardening as I am. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. That’s so cool, Kelli. I heard Greg speak at a Community Forum a couple years ago and think his urban farm is great. You’re such a go-getter, it sounds like a great project and I can’t wait to hear more about its progress.

  14. Awesome! I’ve thought about trying to get a big community garden going here but I don’t really have the energy right now to do it. Plus I know nothing about food gardening lol.

  15. So you’ll get your big garden after all! Amazing story…

  16. Kelli,

    This is a brilliant idea! I am very touched by the diversity of this outreach. Very beautiful in so many ways.

  17. This is such a great idea! Going green is always a great idea. And if this project, beside providing food at a low cost producing locally, gives the opportunity to get closer to the ones living nearby, well thumbs up!

  18. Oh my goodness, that sounds so fun! Wish I lived closer!

  19. Tina in Duluth February 25, 2009

    You are a community leader and I’m forever impressed with you! Your enthusiasm is contagious and everyone who reads your blog will think to do just a little bit more for those around them. You are changing the world.

  20. While i may not be big on church, i’m an animal with a shovel or a pick-axe…i’m also pretty good with pavers for paths and borders. Would be happy to help.

  21. Awesome! I can’t wait to see the wonderful impact this will have on your community. Wish I was closer so I could help out!!

  22. That is great news!!! What an awesome project! Can’t wait to see some updates!