True Community

March 21st

Laying them out


Planting with Greg

Trees planted

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!

Jackhammering away

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.

Working on the trees

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.


Posted in
Arizona, Community, Earth Mama, Faith, Flora and Fauna, Happy Hippie, Journal
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17 Responses

  1. You know what I love about that last picture? The way a couple people are sitting – squatting, but their rear is not on the ground. In my yoga class, we talked about how a lot of people in other countries sit like that, but how few US people do, because of tightness in their hips because we spend so much time in chars. Just an interesting little note. Love the baby pic!!! 🙂

  2. That was the perfect way to start the first day of spring! And it looks like you were in good company with Michelle Obama’s plans.

  3. As my 6th grade girs say “Wow, super wow!”. Congrats to all involved, especially you.

  4. Sarah h March 21, 2009

    Hmmm….he looks more interested in something else!!! Looks like a great day!

  5. Looks like a most wonderful day Kelli! Love seeing a community come together. xo 🙂

  6. Your garden is looking fantastic! I’m glad you found lots of willing jackhammer volunteers. I love your pictures of everyone working together to get this great project started. Congratulations – it must be very fulfilling to see all your hard work come together.

  7. I am pleased as punch to see it all coming together so nicely. What a wonderful community, indeed!

  8. Beautiful Amazing Girl, beautiful garden, beautiful baby, beautiful little trees, beautiful people, beautiful day, beautiful hands helping, beautiful community! Thanks for making me smile Kelli! Great job Amazing Girl! 🙂

  9. Kel, awesome!

  10. Congrats on the start of your community garden!

  11. It looks like you had a wonderful day. I can only imagine how blessed everyone was to take part in the work.
    As an alternative to digging through tough grass, have you considered the “lasagna gardening” method? I don’t know if it would work in Arizona, but I have had luck with it. You might find the book, by Paticia Lanza, at your library.

  12. I’m glad you had a great time. And I was thinking…if the powerfuls of the world could see how easily men and women so different can work together for a unique purpose, no matter the skin color, the religion, the country….what really a wonderful time and world this would be!

  13. Inspiring, Kelli.

    Also — love the pic of you with the babe! 😉

  14. Congrats on all those fruit trees! That’s great!

  15. WOWSA!! You are really making a difference girl! Congrats! Just a fyi, our church did a weekend on missions and a call to the church where over 200 people got up from their seats to answer this call. It can only be a God thing. It was very moving!

  16. Wonderful! Wonderful! Woohoo!