Aha, another week of events and challenges to behold…
I am overcome with community and continuity after last weekend’s group, SPMC Youth Ministries Workshop, visited Happy Valley.
Many of you, I’m sure, were present and enjoyed our time together. One of our Summer Interns was present, Maya Neville-Segura! Congratulate her on her choice to spend her summer with all of us this year!
There were also some Senior High campers who took part in our winter retreat garden sessions. These were the most excited to come back to the garden, to make more compost, to see how their work had progressed, and to show others what they knew.
It was humbling to see these people be so engaged with the garden, just as all the convincing studies have boasted young people would be with the full system of compost to nourishment to growth to care to our mouths and back to compost again. Wow! It’s a research study’s hypothesis confirmed! How energizing!
I was pleased to be met by interested eyes and ears of all ages, each person engaging where they found their desire and skills to be, and even simply becoming comfortable in the environment of the garden corral. This is what we want, is people to find comforting ease while in the garden, so that it may be therapeutic and loving in nature. A group had a conversation between a rebuilt greenhouse and a pile of finished compost. How cool is that?
Now I will present to you photos that bring me sheer joy.
I honestly wasn’t aware that when I told the group to “Go harvest!” the outcome would be so beautiful! I immediately heard Shirley Stevenson begin telling the crowd of people how to know when a root was ready to pull, and she confessed she had only learned from the last time she was in the garden.
Before I knew what was happening, 8 or more people were holding handfuls of vegetables. I couldn’t believe it. The roots I was hesitant to pull, for fear they weren’t quite at their greatest size, my friends pulled with joy and with proper discrimination. Sometimes you need to take action when you’re unsure.
What’s even more beautiful is that Donald happened to be working in the kitchen that day. When he came over to see how things were going, he saw that he had a job to do. He brought all the harvest back to the kitchen and started washing it himself. This is momentous, because usually it is me hauling the harvest back to the kitchen to wash and store myself. When Donald gets involved, it goes right to the salad bar!!
All in all, I am beyond filled as we move forward with planting and sharing this garden with our enthusiastic community. As I witnessed the love coming back in to the garden from everyone, I felt rejuvenated for upward growth.
This summer, the interns will get their hands dirty, turning their fair share of compost piles and nurturing their own garden boxes. They will also get a chance to do programming for our Community of Christ groups, which will be such a thrill for me as well! Keep your eyes and ears out, for we will be needing someone to take up the slack when I finally leave this wonderful place.
On a composting note, remember the new compostable cups I told you about that we’re experimenting with in our compost? Here is a plastic cup, melted from the intense heat of the pile. Wow!
I’ll leave you with this visual of how much lettuce these plants produce. The lettuce on the front of the waddle came from the (now bare!) 13 plants in the middle of the configuration. Isn’t it beautiful?
See you next week! Have a happy one!