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!

Friday, July 5, 2013


We have multiple fruit trees around our gardens. One of those trees is a pie cherry tree. These charries are pretty sour but supposedly really great in pies once you add a bunch of sugar. Instead of harvesting the cherries one by one by hand we sought out alternative measures. 

Alyssa is very adventurous and loves to climb trees. So, up she went and we put down a tarp under the tree. Alyssa shook the tree and down came the cherries. It was a wonderful technique. We then had to move the tarp in a way so that the cherries would not fall though a hole in the tarp. We figured it out. 
Alyssa up in the cherry tree.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Lunch and Learn

The wonderful and talented Grace Miller (our supervisor) had all of the interns over to her home last week for a little lunch and learn. We arrived and she escorted us to her kitchen where the learning began. Dr. Miller is a wonderful cook and has so much knowledge and wisdom to share. It was such a fun experience to learn from her in her home kitchen. She put each of the interns to work on various tasks to help prepare an incredible lunch, all the while teaching us practical cooking techniques.

I unfortunately had to leave early to be back on campus but the other interns told me the rest of the lunch was fantastic. They even brought me back some left overs which were awesome!

Thanks Dr. Miller for having us over you are a great host and a great teacher!