The community garden kicked off yesterday and we were able to plant 25 fruit trees. They took up remarkably little space, leaving plenty for another orchard planting for the Fall. We’ll then add apples, figs and peaches to our citrus grove. The planning for the citrus orchard was much to the thanks of Greg Peterson. If you’ve worked with this local “green” hero, you know how kind and easy-going he is. You’ll also know how knowledgeable he is. Working with dozens of volunteers yesterday, he smiled and taught countless times how to do the very basics of gardening and did so with sincere happiness. I owe him a great debt of thanks!
We also used a rented jackhammer to try to remove a concrete slab. What a mess! First, renting a jackhammer and having them load it in your tiny sedan raises a few eyebrows. Then imagine when you ask how to use it! Thankfully there were plenty of men around yesterday who wanted to wrestle with their inner construction worker and happily took on the job. After hours upon hours, we removed one-fifth of the concrete. I am going to plan B: call construction companies and beg for some free help. We need to remove the slab to plant our vegetable plots. The surrounding Bermuda grass make the land unusable without paying for extensive grass removal.
So, two steps forward, one step back. It was truly a wonderful day. I can’t wait to see these lovely Burmese, Burundian and Iraqi families return to the garden in a few years to reap the bounty of our work. There was one point where I had a Burundian baby on my back, my hands in the soil, a crisp blue Spring Arizona sky above and a nice wind blowing across my face. I’m not sure moments of grace come in any prettier or happier of packaging.
I am incredibly blessed to be attending this church, at this time, with this calling to work with refugees and the ability to bring together like-minded folk to dig in and help. Woo hoo! And it looks like yesterday was a great day to kick off a garden.