Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lasagna gardening.....

Tony Garner and I spent part of the morning building up one of the eleven beds in the garden before the rain ran us off. We're using a concept called lasagna gardening, or lasagna composting. The raised beds can be made with layers of any compostable material---leaves, shredded paper, manure and straw mix, imported top soil, etc. We started by hand tilling the existing beds to "fluff them up," then added a layer of shredded paper, and finally a layer of cow manure/topsoil mix. This bed is the furtherest away from the soil mix and bags of shredded paper, so the next ten beds shouldn't take quite so long to build. As it is in the bottom of the garden, bottom meaning the lowest area, we built it up higher than the other beds will require, just to ensure better drainage. We also extended both ends of the bed, which added another approximately forty square feet of area in which to plant. By the time we finish with the other ten beds we will probably have added another two hundred square feet plus of space in which to plant. All in all it was a great morning---good friends, good stories, a good workout, and an opportunity to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Just a little over two months and we'll start our seedlings indoors for next springs garden. A reminder to anyone who wanders into the garden---PLEASE do not walk on the beds! One more thing---a big thanks to Fiskar's and Heifer International who provided us with mini-grants to buy tools, deer fencing and an irrigation system.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Food conferences.....

There are four different food conferences going on in North Carolina over the same time period in February and early March. If you are any type of foodie, community gardener, have concerns about the hungry, or are a food revolutionary of any sort, you should find a conference somewhere in this great state where you will fit right in.

(1) Come to the Table - Feb. 25th. -
Garysburg - Feb 26th. - Boone - Feb. 27th. - Charlotte.
(2) Read Food Real Medicine - February 27th. - March 1st. - Chapel Hill.
(3) The Hunger Conference - February 27th. and 28th. - Raleigh.
Food Summit - March 2nd. and 3rd. - Raleigh.

We hope you will check out the different conference links, find a conference that is calling your name, and will attend.


Sunday afternoon the Seagrove Community Garden hosted a service of thanksgiving for the garden's bounty, and a serpentine prayerful/contemplative walk through the garden, all followed by a chili supper at the Seagrove UMC's fellowship hall.
Vespers --- in this case, 2 hymns, 2 psalms, a story and a prayer.
Prayerful, serpentine walk through the garden's aisles, reading the quotes on peace and reconciliation.
Pastor Bob.
The mayor of Whynot, the honorable Bill Spencer, pontificating.
Venetia Smith, garden's head cheerleader, flanked by her son Tim, and daughter-in-law Susan.
The honorable Mrs. Mayor of Whynot, Sue Spencer, the lady whose formidable task is to keep the mayor on track.
Stacye and Slate.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


On Sunday afternoon October 26th., at 3:30 PM, we will be hosting a short service of thanksgiving, a silent, prayerful, serpentine walk-thru of the garden, and a chili supper in the fellowship hall of Seagrove United Methodist Church. We hope you will be able to attend.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Prayer vigil follow up.....

Last night we held a prayer vigil inside the boundaries of Seagrove Community Garden. It was a silent, serpentine walk through the garden, where passages of scripture and quotes about peace and reconciliation could be read and contemplated. There was also a space for Eucharist. Approximately 25 people joined us. The much needed rain showed up about an hour before the vigil, and let off about 15 minutes before it was to begin. The following images of some of the quotations, and the vegetable and flower images at the bottom, were taken the morning after the vigil. We hope that they will impact your heart as they did ours.
We have had a bumper crop of several varieties of tomatoes over the last month or so, and still have some clinging to their vines.
Winter squash, still a few weeks from fruitition.
The moon and stars watermelons have been a big hit, in fact, we have a fall crop too, just starting to produce fruit.
Before long we're going to need a ladder to harvest the okra!
Sunflowers as high as a man's head.....
Our organic basil makes the best pesto!
God in heaven, thank you for the rain, and for the people who joined us in prayer. Amen.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Prayer vigil.....

We invite you and your families and neighbors into a healing place - the Seagrove Community Garden, 323 N. Broad Street, next to the Dairy Breeze. On Monday night, August 25th, drop in any time between the hours of 7:00 pm and 8:30 pm. Park at the Dairy Breeze, walk next door, and join us in silent meditation and reflection for the healing of our community.
Mission Statement
In faithful partnership with God and one another, the Seagrove Community Garden is an agent of Christian hospitality and sharing.
The garden community will:
*Enrich the soil and preserve the land through hands-on gardening practices.
*Produce fresh, high quality vegetables and fruits.
*Teach each other sustainable gardening techniques, healthy ways of meal planning, cooking and preserving whole foods.
*Encourage the building of cooperation and friendship among members and guests.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes.....

Tis the season, for tomatoes that is, and cucumbers, and chili peppers, and okra, and cantaloupe and watermelon. I think we have 4 varieties of tomatoes in our garden, and 3 out of 4 are ready to be picked this week. The cherry tomatoes are almost a pain in the patoot as they are so abundant, and very good at hiding. The Roma's and Amish Paste have been plentiful as well, and the German Johnsons are turning pink but not quite there, in abundance anyway. The image is of Bonnie, Slate and Melissa picking cherry tomatoes.
Although the Japanese beetles seem to love the okra leaves, we are still harvesting quite a bit of okra. It was prepared and served on the spot at our ribbon-cutting last week, and very much appreciated. Okra is pretty good at hiding too. Donna and Luther are seen here prying them away from their hiding places.
Sometimes the easiest way to keep the perimeter and aisles manageable is to just jump on a riding mower and have at it. Benjamin sure does love riding around on his equipment!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ribbon cutting.....

Beth Norris - "The garden was beautiful and so many folks turned out for the ribbon cutting. It has been such a joy to have so many people active in this project. The right people show up at the right time. Usually just enough
gardeners turn out every time the garden is open. And our purpose, to grow healthy food and to feed others is coming true. We are growing stronger as a community because of the garden. The Fiskars grant has made that possible. We would not have been this far along in this project without this grant and I am so grateful that they as a company are right there with us. Thanks Fiskars!"
Gina Garner - "It was a great event. The garden, though challenges being faced from time to time, is truly one of God's handiworks."
Debbie Dowling - "I am so grateful to be experiencing the Seagrove Community Garden. On the night of the ribbon cutting the garden's vision was a reality with organic vegetables and fruit for a delicious feast, herbs to share, neighbors visiting with each other, time for reflection, a covered shelter, tables, chairs, and cooking on the site. The bounty of the garden was enjoyed in so many ways. I caught a father and daughter enjoying each other's company while they strolled down the garden paths, new and old gardeners learning about the benefits of nasturtiums and marigolds, a handicapped van driving up the path to see what was going on with our garden. It was a night to remember."
Susan Greene - "A great write up in the Sunday paper. Watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber and onion with dill and sour cream salad, ratatouille, sautéed swiss chard with onion and garlic, chopped swiss chard stalks with pasta in a cream reduction sauce, zucchini bread, homemade bread, tomato, cucumber and onion salad vinaigrette, sautéed okra, fried okra, herbs and flowers in a local potters vase, the mayor cutting our ribbon with giant orange handled shears, a town council woman, friends, love, community members all together, all in our garden, all from our garden, great food and fellowship, sustainable agriculture sustaining us all. It was a memorable night indeed."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

PING workshop.....

Four members of Seagrove Community Garden spent today at a workshop on beekeeping and building cross-cultural community at Anathoth Community Garden in Cedar Grove, NC. We spent the day working in their garden, sharing a phenomenal pot-luck lunch, listening to 2 Argentine beekeepers, and finished up the afternoon with a panel discussion about inviting other cultures into our community gardens. This was the 5th.workshop in a six-part series sponsored by PING, a collaborative effort between our garden, Covenant in Fuquay-Varina, NC, and Anathoth. The final workshop will be held at Cedar Grove UMC and will be about food preservation.
We spent much of the morning digging potatoes and pulling up onions.
Georgia, Beth and Susan taking a break in the shade.The beekeepers from Argentina.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Whew! Summertime.....

Yep. It's summer time. Although we got a lot of harvesting accomplished this morning, that was all we did, for the most part, and that in less than 2 hours. Today we harvested a few sugar snap peas, lots of leaf lettuce, scallions, a few peppers and quite a bit of swiss chard. Our several varieties of squash are blossoming and will soon be ready for harvesting, the potatoes too. Both the peppers and tomatoes are hanging with fruit, and the corn is thigh-high and tassling. Ain't nothing like fresh sweet corn!
Venetia Smith cutting off the first heads of lettuce.
Tony Garner, taking over in the lettuce quadrant, while Barbara Graves and Debbie Dowling harvest sugar snaps.
Blair Dowling checking the progress on the squash.
Venetia and Barbara taking a well-deserved water break while harvesting Swiss chard.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Kids day.....

The PING workshop today at Covenant Community Garden in Fuquay-Varina was all about the kids. They spent the morning harvesting, mulching beds, hauling coarse mulch for walkways, and preparing an old bed for a new crop. After a pot-luck lunch and an afternoon worship service, the younger kids went off for a reading of Stone Soup, and the older kids stayed with the adults who were taught about urban market gardening by young folks from SEEDS.
Chris Burtner, garden manager of Covenant Community Garden, and Slate Gray and Jeff Daniels.
Kane Martinez, Slate and Jeff harvesting carrots.
Michael Martinez - not at all camera shy!
Lisa Martinez, Jeff and Slate sorting out the bad from the good carrots.
Susan Greene (co-manager of Seagrove Community Garden) and Lisa working in the herb beds.Ricardo, Markyse and Anthony, youth from SEEDS in Durham, pointing out one of the features of the urban, market garden where they are employed. Here's a blurb about SEEDS from the Durham Farmer's Market web site.....
SEEDS Community Garden has been an oasis nestled between residential and industrial neighborhoods in Northeast Central Durham since 1994. The produce we bring to the Durham Farmers Market is raised by the Durham Inner-city Gardeners (DIG), a youth-led urban farming leadership development program that has been a part of SEEDS for the past 8 years. Our quarter-acre market garden is a former parking lot that is now a balanced ecosystem of plants and pollinators.
DIG empowers teens by teaching gardening, sound business practices, healthy food choices and food security values. The program emphasizes sustainable living and growing practices, ecological balance, and the natural recycling of organic materials for plant health and nourishment. DIG youth are paid a stipend to cultivate the fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers and mushrooms that they sell at the Durham Farmer's Market. We also sell our produce to LocoPops and the Durham Food Co-op.