With Spring on its way, the GG Team is clearing out cool season crops to get a good start on our favorite warm season crops: tomato, pepper and eggplant. In row 6 by the volleyball court we are growing some red potatoes that will be ready to harvest in May/June. Soon we will plant seeds of cucumber, beans, Malabar spinach, melons, okra, basil and sunflowers. Extra hands are always welcome at planting time, email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
2021 is promising to be an exciting year for us in the Giving Garden. So far this year we have 7 newly adopted beds. The interest in growing the food we put on our table has reached Tempe. Every year a few people release their beds to continue their growing at home or move on to other interests, while new members adopt a bed to begin their gardening journey with us. We are so grateful for the opportunity to share our love of nature through this valuable ministry in the parking lot!
Please remember that only the perimeter beds are tended by the garden team (Rows 1 & 6) for sharing with you at the weekly markets. The other garden beds (Rows 2, 3, 4, and 5) have been adopted by individuals and groups to grow produce for their families.
Weekly Garden Work Days:
We are now meeting Wednesdays from 8:00 am – 9:30 am.*
Monthly Garden Work Days –
Saturdays – usually 3rd Saturday, from 9:00 – 11:00am *
Volunteers should bring garden gloves and a water bottle with them on garden work days.
*In case of rain or stormy conditions, garden work days may be postponed to another time.
About the Giving Garden
Members of the Giving Garden group at Dayspring UMC are hoping to help cultivate new green thumbs in south Tempe. After more than a year of learning, planning, and building, the church is opening its community garden to the neighborhood.
“The garden is open to anyone,” said Chris Lueck, head of theGiving Garden team, “individuals, families, groups… anyone who is interested can adopt a bed.” There is no cost to adopt one of the 4’ x 8’ raised beds, but donations are welcomed to help support the group’s mission –to grow a sustainable giving garden.
“We’re teaching sustainable growing practices, sharing research based gardening knowledge through classes, and building community through gardening activities and events,” Lueck said. “We already have a talented group of volunteers and want to welcome others.”
Each of the 28 rectangular cedar beds in the garden is raised 22” to control soil and increase accessibility. Water is supplied to each bed with an individual shutoff to allow for hand watering or drip irrigation. They are filled with a sandy/loam soil mixed with the City of Tempe’s free compost. “We have good soil right now,” said Lueck, “and it’s just going to get better.”
Education is a major component of the group’s work. They started offering free classes in April, led by local Master Gardeners, experienced in the challenges gardening in Arizona can present. Additionally, volunteers work together to learn best practices while maintaining their beds. Leaders help train interested volunteers on harvesting, composting, and sustainable practices for pest management and continual soil improvement.
Those who adopt garden beds are encouraged to plant and maintain their bed on their own, but resources are available for seeds, if needed. They are also expected to attend six or seven
garden events a year, including training classes, community building events, and even potluck meals to enjoy the produce they have harvested. If interested, please call the Church Office at (480) 838-1446 or email Chris Lueck.
- 1 White Board (2’x3’) with markers & eraser
- 1 Hanging Garden Scale
- 8 Hand Trowels
- 12 kid-sized hand trowels
- 1 Turning Fork for compost
- 6 Small wood crates for selling produce at Garden Market
- 4 Plastic Tubs for washing produce
- Women’s and men’s durable garden gloves (10 of each)
- Balanced Organic granular fertilizer
- Gift Cards to Home Depot for garden supplies