Catie Christiaanse sends this upbeat report on the Plot against Hunger garden at Clarendon United Methodist Church:
“We are thrilled to close out a successful second year of our vegetable garden at Clarendon UMC. We were blessed to double our space this year as part of an Eagle Scout project. We also started with the spring season this year (a full two months earlier than our inaugural year). As a result, we were able to produce 365 pounds for our friends and neighbors at AFAC. Because our garden is located at a distribution center, our harvesters delivered produce directly to the Saturday distribution. We keep a scale, along with a laminated sheet and marker in our supply bin, allowing us to record our harvest as we go. Direct delivery gives us the ability to interact directly with the clients, which is truly special.
In the spring, we harvested butter lettuce, romaine, and some carrots. The enthusiasm from our youngest gardener (age 3) limited our carrot yield. In the summer, we had a bumper crop of tomatoes along with some sweet and hot peppers. In the later summer/early fall, we were blessed with a fruitful harvest of pumpkins and other squash.
For the winter, we have planted wheat rye to help restore nitrogen in our soil. Some members of the congregation donated a strawberry tower, and we look forward to the early spring crop. We have also sent soil samples to Virginia Tech (one from the bed established last year and a second from the new bed). We eagerly await the results.”