It is HOT in Southeastern Illinois but the green beans are ready to be picked! We have 12+ rows to harvest and we’re netting 15 lbs per row … that’s a whole-lotta-beans!
Our “little” tomato patch has kicked into high gear with past week of hot weather. Today we took 3 bags to the food pantry and took the not-so-pretty ones to the kitchen for canning. Most of the plants are loaded … we picked 12 nice tomatoes of one plant yesterday!
We are in our second picking of green beans and I swear there are more than the first time through.
We should begin picking sweet corn this week – if the deer and raccoons don’t beat us to it.
Here’s a quick update on how the Just. Good. Food. program is doing here at Frame Memorial Presbyterian Church.
Our two raised beds have so far produced over 90 pounds of vegetables that were delivered to the Operation Bootstrap food pantry and some to the homeless shelter in town. We’ve had great success with the lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, green beans, and some of the mini-bell peppers. The mini-belles were from seeds that you sent to us as were the cherry tomatoes. We are officially now part of the Stevens Point Area Giving Gardens (one of about 10) that are raising vegetables for the various food pantries here.
The kids in Vacation Bible School helped us harvest the carrots and some of the tomatoes last week and we have a lot more green beans and tomatoes to pick (probably this coming Sunday). The hot weather has really been helpful in terms of ripening the veggies. At some point we’d like to put in another raised bed but that may end up being a fall project.
Hope the rest of the churches are doing as well. This has been a really worthwhile project for our church and a teachable moment for the kids. A good thing all in all.
Our tomatoes are finally beginning to ripen AND look nice too!
Picked 12 ripe tomatoes off of one vine this morning got 2 pecks of purple beans from just one row and this is the 2nd picking.
It’s time to make salsa in Palestine, IL
The plants are HUGE and are beginning to take over everything around them. Tomatoes are just beginning. Members are supplementing our harvest with produce from their own gardens. Lots of volunteers helping to take care of the garden. Our local newspaper ran an article about church gardens and one of our volunteers appeared on the front page of the paper. Total harvest
This summer has been cooler and wetter than usual – but it has been great weather for the garden, so no complaints! We are excited to share these vegetables with the Food Pantry we share with the Methodist Church, as well as the Food Pantry at Madison Presbyterian, and soon to the House of Hope, a food pantry through the Clearinghouse of Jefferson County to open in October.
We provide experiential learning and community service opportunities for the youth in our programs. We sell CSA memberships to our staff and the proceeds support our recreation programs. We include our produce in our food service operations as well.
Our first planting of bush beans were harvested over the weekend. Volunteers from the church picked more than 100 lbs of green & purple beans. Several more are ‘almost ready’ and the plants are still blossoming!
Our tomatoes are beginning to ripen – AT LAST! – and the quality has improved quite a bit. We’re selecting the nicest fruit to go to the food pantry and keeping the ‘not-so-pretty’ to make salsa.
We’re harvesting our tomatoes now! There is NOTHING like a home grown tomato! The pole beans are bearing, some beets are popping up, and the sweet peppers just keep coming.
Church members have added, from their home gardens, to what we share with the local food pantry. And last week, for the first time, we noticed that folks from the pantry’s host church had started bringing some fresh veggies, too. We think we started something good!
Our harvest has begun! Here is a picture of the first harvest given to the local food pantry that we partner with the Hanover United Methodist Church.