Community Garden: Phase I

March 6th

Asbury UMC Community Garden

Phase I of the community garden at Asbury UMC is a citrus orchard. Last week I convinced 18 folk to adopt a tree for the grove. Our goal is another 7 sold this week so we have 25 to plant on Arbor Day– March 20th. Our congregation is excited about the project and the local refugee population is stepping up to help do a lot of the planting. I am thrilled to be a part of this work. I can see this otherwise unused slot of land bloom into a lovely garden where we’ll all come together to learn.

Asbury UMC Community Garden

For example, did you know these date shoots can be transplanted? The things I’m learning this week are nothing short of nutty. (Or in this case, date-y.) We are hopefully going toΒ  very gently harvest these and plant them along the front border of the church to provide a live fence. (Go, go gadget Peace Corps farming knowledge! I’ve used you so little. Welcome back!)

I am wrangling volunteers, begging friends with trucks to pick up loads of mulch and gathering shovels so the citrus grove can be planted. Within three years, we should have a bounty of fruit to keep hungry congregants, neighbors and refugees well fed. In the meantime, we’ll progress to Phase II — vegetable gardening plots and eventually Phase III. This is the one with which I’m most intrigued. I’ve long wanted chickens, much to my family and friend’s utter curiosity. I know they are filthy and noisey. I also know how incredible organic eggs are and the financial possibilities we can provide to a couple refugee families willing to take on animal husbandry. Did you know a chick will begin laying eggs after 14-15 weeks of development and the lay an egg every 27 hours for 52 weeks? With 10 chickens, we are going to make a boatload of money charging $4 a dozen for organic eggs at the Phoenix Farmer’s Market and to congregants. Money for refugee families who need work. Citrus, veggies and eggs for my belly. Really, what isn’ t there to celebrate?

Asbury UMC Community Garden

If you live in Arizona and want to get involved, all are welcome. Shoot me an email for the details.Β  (Shoot! Shoot me an email about shoots! Oh, the puns.)

I’d love to meet you and have you join in the fun!



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Arizona, Community, Faith, Goals, Happy Hippie
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11 Responses

  1. #1: Do you have to be a local to adopt a citrus tree?

    #2: How do you handle chickens/coops/etc in the heat? WHAT IF THE EGGS PRE-POACH THEMSELVES IN THE SHELLS??!!

    Also, you’re silly with your puns. It’s too much πŸ˜‰

  2. Portland has lots of chicken coops – within one block of my house are three. They are only slightly dirty and not at all noisy, unless you get a rooster. The little men have to make themselves heard!

    You’ll have such fun with this…

  3. Sounds like a lovely project!

  4. Ditto to Finny’s question. Do you have to be a local?
    Can I adopt half a tree? Can I adopt the top half?
    Oh no, is silliness catching?
    I’m serious about the 1st question, though. Let me know.

  5. Awesome (and BIG!) project that you’re taking on! Let me know what the schedule is to see if maybe can help out one weekend or something.

  6. looks like you have got something good going…wish I lived closer to help out. πŸ™‚

  7. Henry will appreciate this punny post!

  8. This is so rad- we are going to be attempting something similar here in Bend, Oregon at our church. Linking organic farming to the hunger need sin our community.

    Keep up the good works…and I’ll have those shirts out to you this week!


  9. What can I say other than AWESOME! VERY AWESOME! If I lived near you I would certainly be there helping. I will pray for success and all the community garden can be for you from California. This motivates me to get started on that community garden my neighbor and I see happening in our area. Fighting the county to use just a little of the massive park land that surrounds our community has not been successful. That is, as of yet!

  10. This is a very beautiful project Kelli! I hope everyone in the community would give a help. Keeping my fingers crossed for the sucess of the project.

  11. AWESOME! If you need chicks, let me know. I have a source in Phoenix. πŸ™‚