SOMMER HAVEN “FAITH” COMMUNITY GARDENS
by Gordon Skinner and Sylvia Dawn

Model House Garden

We began a new garden plot this year that is being developed for teaching. It is called “Model House Garden and demonstrates different methods of gardening. We have five raised beds, an area for row crops, area’s for vine climbing plants, container gardening and two large mulching bins.  Gordon put in all of the automatic irrigation system that has drip lines and a fertigation tank to feed the plants continuously.  We also received a small green house so we can continue planting in the cooler seasons.

In the beginning we had a lot of hungry birds that enjoyed the fruits of our labor, we would plant and they would eat. Now, we plant and we eat thanks to bird netting and thanks to Lee Green for making boxes with chicken wire to keep the little critters out.

FAITH Gardening Classes

This year, for the second time, we had classes taught by Master Gardener Bob Yocum  every second Saturday from May to July. He taught the basic principles of how to create and maintain a beautiful, fruitful garden.  We are looking forward to another year of interesting and fun filled time with Bob and his wife Sharon in the spring.  People who are interested in attending can please contact us. Registration for this class will begin in February.  Nine Family Garden Plots are also available next year for groups, churches or families to “adopt” Come and learn with us.

The Town Farm

We were able to develop another new area in the FAITH Community Gardens.  It is called the “Town Farm” This is an area of row crops 50 feet by 250 feet.  This year we planted corn, beans, Napa cabbage, romaine lettuce, some cantaloupe, watermelon and especially carrots and potatoes. This entire area was sponsored by a grant from Lancaster West Rotary Club.  Various companies donated or gave large discounts to make this year a big success in terms of being able to develop new areas. A special thank you to Lowes of Lancaster, EZ Flo, and the DIG Corp for all of their incredible support.  Without your donations and deep discounts this project would have cost many thousands of dollars more.

Harvest for the Hungry

The new “Town Farm” grew carrots and potatoes very well.   So far we have given 780 pounds to several churches who have come and harvested for their food distribution programs.  Thanks to pastor Sean and the Quartz Hill Four Square church, to Rosamond Four Square, to Gods Enduring Touch of Grace and others for your participation.  If your group is interested in “Harvesting for the Hungry” it is a great joy to do and more needy people can benefit from the FRESH picked produce.

Garden donation to Lancaster West Rotary Club to help support their Polio Fund.

Volunteers

A community garden project is only as good as its volunteers.  There are too many to mention all of them here but a few stand out that we would like to thank.

Thank you to the young adults from De Vry University.  They heard about Sommer Haven’s  Faith Community Gardens from their teacher Linda Vasquez and with Linda’s encouragement decided they wanted to help in any way that we needed.  They have faithfully blessed us once a week by pulling weeds and now they are starting their own garden, we greatly appreciate all of their hard work and love.

The members of the Rotar-act and Interact clubs in Lancaster have also given many man hours of volunteer services in assembling, pipes, building fences and painting tires for planters. They also enjoyed feeding the lambs, chickens and other animals when they came. Thank you.

A big “Thank You” also is deserved by the men from New Jerusalem who have given so much time and love to the projects this year.  Without your support we could not have done this project so quickly.