Friday, October 18, 2013

Pictures of Harvest Party

Leslie, Heather, and Sydni pressing cider

Some students picking in the garden

Dr. Newman and his wife learning about the garden from Grace

Sydni popping corn

Not the moment when the popper caught fire

Monna Black face painting

family from Victory Acres CSA pickup


Pumpkin carving

This was a major hit

Our photographer with friends

Some finished works

Some cornhole and ladder golf playing

Monna does great work

Dr. Newman notices he is getting his picture taken

Alyssa with some teachers

Alyssa is glad you all could make it!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Recap of the Harvest Party

The Harvest Party this past weekend went fantastic. Thank you all for showing up we had an estimated 300 people come out from IWU and the surrounding community. This is over double the amount of people of last year. There were pictures taken and they will be up later on. (My photographer has finals this week). We had apple cider that we ground and pressed all day. It went better then last year but still room for improvement. (The yellow jackets were incredibly happy however.) Pumpkin carving went well as all of our pumpkins were used and there were lots of them. Sack races and games were a hit as well as our garden tour done by Sydni. Special thanks to Monna Black for her excellent face painting booth. You can check those out at

Grace and I also got interviewed about the garden for the IWU TV station and will link that when that is finished.

Thank you for by garden interns: Sydni, John, Alyssa, and Paige, the LLC girls:Kayla, Autumn Joy, Allie, Sara, and Meagan, Victory Acres: Leslie and Heather, Taylor garden manager Armala, CCA Kaley, my wife Kate, and of course Robert who volunteered the whole day just because. You guys were such a major help all year not just at the party and Grace and I are so proud of you.

We are winding down now as it will mostly be planting cover crop, harvesting, and getting things in order for winter.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Harvest Party

It is finally here folks. This Saturday from 2-8PM the 2nd annual Harvest Party will be held at our

46th street garden. No this is not the harvest party that is really Halloween that some people have

confused it with. (You can dress up though I do not mind.) We will be having apple cider pressed on

site from the apples that are grown at 46th street. (I could stop there since that is what most people

are excited about). Popcorn grown and popped by us, garden tours, face-painting, pumpkin carving,

sack races, lawn games, and door prizes. You will also be able to pick from our garden and keep

whatever you want. This is a major day for the gardens and we pray for sunshine which it is looking

good as of now. I hope all you readers can make it out. I really think it will be lots of fun.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Summoned Towards Wholeness

This weekend I went down to the Summoned Towards Wholeness conference at Duke Divinity school. It was a conference that brought people that wanted to make gardening and farming a task that was pleasing to the Lord again. They wanted to be stewards of the earth God gave us, wanted to make for the bodies we have and what we put in our bodies, and wanted farming to be the holy enterprise it had always been. Speakers ranged from university professors, ECHO farmers, Kentucky meat producers, pastors, writers, musicians, and poets. 

We got to see how Anathoth community gardens is working to reconcile race relations through the amazing garden they have. Food was delicious. Conversations with other attendees was great and so encouraging to see people really excited for food and more importantly on fire for Christ. For as much information was thrown at us it was nice to be able to unpack each session with the three folks I traveled down with: Kayla, Kaley, and Chris. I hope one day that our gardens in Marion will have a great impact on the people of this town. 

If you guys want to know more about our trip or just our gardens feel free to ask in the comments. I will be sure to get back to you.
Joel Salatin and the girls

FolkPsalm musical group

Delicious hog diner
Anathoth Community Garden

Anathoth chickens!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Job vs. Work

My job these days is to harvest the unbelievable amount of produce still coming in everyday and advertising for the Harvest Party that is getting closer everyday. For the most part I enjoy my job. I love being able to interact with people as I try to get donations for watermelon. I enjoy Bringing vegetables to Victory Acres, St. Martin's, and the Community Gardens farmer's market. Going out to the garden everyday to see the growth that is occurring being a part of it is refreshing.

 More often though I lose sight of what I am doing and who I am doing it for because I myself get in the way. I get frustrated when all manner of biting insects want to drink my blood and invade my eyes as I get rid of rotten tomatoes. I think of ways to avoid picking up all of the apples that have fallen that now house hundreds of bees. I also take credit for the produce and the growth when God has made it happen despite that I am here.

I am quick to forget that I did not and still do not know much about growing a garden or managing people. I have been blessed with great interns and a teacher in Grace Miller who have all been more then patient. God has given us a great summer that got enough rain and was not to hot that our crops could do as well as they have. My job here at alliance garden might be intern manager but my work is and always needs to be bringing glory to God and loving his creation. If you get the chance feel free to keep me accountable in this.

On Thursday Kayla Johnson from LLC, Kayley Necessary from CCA, Chris Young from Prasco, and I are headed to a conference called Summoned Towards Wholeness
at Duke Divinity school to learn about Christian stewardship in many different ways. I am super excited and I would love for your prayers to be that the Holy Spirit can move in us and make this trip the best it can be.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

LLC Help

As school has started up our interns are not able to come out and help with the gardens as often. Luckily we have a partnership with the Living Learning Community. This is a new project that the school is working on where students live in a house together and focus on living sustainably and building community. The girls live in the house that Paige, Sydni, and Alyssa lived in earlier and they come out for a few hours to help with our gardens.
Autumn Joy, one of the girls of the LLC
Like myself they have not had lots of experience but they are excited and willing to help.

Kayla Johnson helping out
 Kayla Johnson is in charge of the house and will be a great mentor for these girls. You will be seeing them helping out at our Harvest Party October 12th from 2PM to 8PM at our 46th st. garden.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Taste of Marion Cont.

This is us at the Taste of Marion. Thanks to Mrs. Chapman for the picture!

Taste of Marion/ Wednesday Produce Sale

For three weeks now John Chapman and I have had a booth in the Student Center giving away our produce, asking for donations, and promoting the Gardens. We are there Wednesdays from 11AM to 1PM. It has been a great experience as we can show the students and faculty just how good of a summer it has been. The people that come by have been extremely generous and usually love our produce. All of the produce we do not sell is sent to St. Martins on Branson St. and 9th. They take all of it and it has been so neat seeing that this food can be a blessing and nothing goes to waste. This past Friday was the Taste of Marion. We almost missed out on this great opportunity for promotion due to a communication mix up. But God is good and He continues to take care of us. We gave away tomatoes and handouts for the Harvest Party on October 12th from 2-8PM.
Our promos for CCA and LLC

Flyers that will be put in businesses around town

Do not have a camera right now so pictures might be few for awhile
We started off with two hundred and ran out in the first hour, a good problem to have. We got more and gave out another hundred before the day was over. We are all excited for the Harvest Party and want as many as we can get to come out.

Friday, August 30, 2013

State of the Garden Address

The last time whole-garden pictures were posted, we were celebrating the seedlings which proved that our hard work had not been in vain. So much has transpired since then that the garden looks completely different! Both gardens are doing very well and producing more than we can eat, and a quick walk-through makes it apparent that God's hand has been on both gardens this summer, and that he has richly blessed this internship!
The 38th St. Garden from the perspective of the zucchini.

The 38th St. garden again - would you believe the corn and pumpkins are even BIGGER now?!?!?!

The 46th St. garden - enough swiss-chard to feed Grant county! Our green beans are doing well too; we have been sharing with Victory Acres.

Beans - wax, lima, purple and green beans, and edamame. The amaranth is doing well too. Not pictured, we have TONS of tomatoes, many types of peppers, onions, carrots and melons! Such an exciting time!
School will be starting soon on IWU's campus and, hopefully, garden tours! I can't wait to show everyone the beauty that has come of this summer!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Good Problem to Have

We have a funny problem in the garden; there is too much produce!!! We have been abundantly blessed this summer with our bountiful crop, and the only trouble we have had is trying to find homes for it all. What a wonderful way to meet the neighborhood! Walking around with a wheelbarrow, going door-to-door, and offering for free the veggies we harvested that morning is one of my (Sydni's) favorite parts of gardening. The people are so appreciative, and we have made many new friends. Another plus: if we did not give away the produce, it would go bad before we could eat it! I am so glad we get to see others enjoy what God has blessed us with!
Did you know that zucchini can grow up-to an INCH a DAY!?!?!?! Fortunately, Marion Indiana loves their zucchini!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Fruit Trees

We are blessed to have multiple fruit trees on campus. However, these poor trees have been neglected for many years. They are over grown, and confused. That is another thing we are learning how to care for. We are learning how to pune, and thin and retrain fruit. For me this is one of the tasks that reveals biblical truths. Chapter 15 in the book of John talks about how we are the branches and Jesus is the vine and God is the gardner. It talks about bearing fruit, abiding, and pruning. Check it out! It is definitely one of my favorites.
We have a lot of apples at both gardens.

We have peaches we think.
These are the grapes at the 38th Street Garden

We have pears.

As you can see we will have our hands full with fruit tree care alone. I am so excited to see this fruit grow and then to finally be able to harvest it!

Canning Workshop

This past week we had our second workshop of the summer. The lady interns of the IWU gardens hosted it in our house. We had our garden friend Robert Sharp come and teach us. He knows a ton about canning and pickling. Like the last workshop we had some people from victory acres, everyone from our garden, and some of the Taylor garden interns. Of course we picked one of the hotest days of the summer to do this very hot workshop. I personally had always heard that canning was a very hot project but now I really understand. We had to turn off our air conditioning because I guess if the hot glass gets a cold burst of air it can shatter. 

Anyways, last week we worked hard to gather items to can. We decided to make apple butter from apples that had fallen off one of our apple trees. We also used green beens and cucumbers.
The veggies.
Apple Butter

Empty jars at the start!
Robert getting things started on the stove.
The class.

This workshop was awesome. Robert was a great teacher and it is such a smart way to save food from the garden for the rest of the year. The process has definitely stood the test of time. Thank you Robert and everyone who joined us for the workshop!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Like I mentioned in our last blog post, we have learned a new skill. Roofing. I will admit at first I was like "why are we learning how to do this when there are so many other things that could be done." However, I loved it. I really enjoyed learning a new skill. John, one of the interns, has some roofing history so he led point on this project.

I am also very glad we did it last week and not this week when it is in the 90s!

I think that this skill will be beneficial in all of our lives. I am definitely becoming more of a do-it-yourself kind of girl this summer.


Shingle Removal

In progress! (Instagram makes roofing look pretty)

The finished product!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

MidSummer Update

We can not believe that July is here and in full swing! This time of the summer we easily could be hurting for rain but we have been so lucky. We have had a really great amount of rain to keep everything growing. It also keeps the weeds growing like crazy.

With everything in the ground we are now starting to harvest and work on some other projects. This week we learned how to shingle a roof. (Look forward to a blog post about that in a little while).

One cool thing that this internship allows us to do is alter it a little bit to meet specific interests. For example, I (Paige) am still working the CSA pick up. Sydni has been working on painting signs stakes for the gardens. Alyssa has been spending time at Victory Acres with a woman who is passionate about herbs and is teaching Alyssa all about them.

It is now time to start thinking about fall crops!

Melons in the front of this picture!

Some little tomato's are coming in!