Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Marine Week

The Marines were in town! Hundreds of Marines came to St. Louis to take part in community service projects and perform various exhibitions throughout the city. A group of them were assigned to help with Gateway Greening gardens, and Gateway Greening sent them to us. This is our first year gardening, and we've taken on three defunct community gardens, so the work load this year was massive. Before the Marines came, we still had one garden unplanted.

Ten Marines landed in Hyde Park on Monday, June 20. They laid mulch around our beds at the garden on Newhouse. They cleared the fence lines, trimmed trees, helped assemble a support for our monstrous tomato plants, and mowed the lot. In the midst of the action, a group of kids that live a block over stopped by to see what was happening. They met the Marines and helped us plant some cabbage and lettuce.

From there we went to the Clay School Opportunity Garden. This one has caused us the most trouble. It was in the worse shape and had many delays, including late compost delivery, uncooperative weather, and a massively busy schedule. We cleared the beds of weeds (for the fifth time) and planted mostly cucurbits and peppers.

You can read here about the Marines' view of what they did this week.

The plants in the other two gardens are growing very well. We've harvested greens numerous times, had a huge crop of lettuce, picked some sugar snap peas, and taste tested our first two ripe cherry tomatoes. They had huge flavor. Our flowers are blooming, and the herbs have finally stabilized.

This week, we also installed a 12x16 foot pergola at the Boyle-Laclede Community Garden, made entirely of recycled pallet wood. This was our biggest wood project to date, containing over 280 wooden parts and 1260 exterior screws, and it went fairly painlessly.

If you would like to help us in the gardens, or in any other part of our ministry, contact Jason at jason@sunministries.org, or fill out the volunteer form. You can also stay up to date by checking our Facebook and signing up to receive our monthly newsletter.