May 182012

Hello Garden Friends:

Native Plant Festival and Sale – Thursday, May 24, 3-6 p.m.
Cathedral Church of St. Paul’s, Ninth and High Streets downtown
Come take advantage of this splendid opportunity to buy native plants and grasses for your own garden!

Why plant native perennials and grasses? “Let us count the ways:”

1.     Once they’re established, they need no fertilizer, no pesticides, and minimal maintenance.
2.     They’ll attract (and feed) songbirds and butterflies to your yard.
3.     They’ll sink deep roots that will capture rain water and send it deep into the soil, helping prevent rainwater runoff & improving your soil.
4.     They’ll add natural Iowa beauty!

Dr. Jo Anna Hebberger will be on hand to offer advice and tips. Refreshments will be available.

The Agape Garden is off to a wonderful start this year as you can see from how the peas are doing at right. Craig Crist also sent us wonderful pictures of the spinach, onions, broccoli, potatoes and cabbage happily growing, too.

Volunteer hours in the Agape garden are almost every Tuesday and Thursday evenings around 6:30 to dark and Saturday mornings around 8:30 til noon. Call Craig Crist to verify time and dates @515-577-8260 leave message if no answer. The Agape Garden always needs help

Faith & Grace Garden.  Corner of 24th & Ashworth, WDM, just west of St. Timothy’s, park in the lot north of the church off 24th Street.
Right now we are up to our ears in student volunteers!….and probably will be until next Friday as we head into Memorial Day Weekend.

Volunteer hours in the Faith & Grace Garden are Monday – Friday, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Saturday 10:30 – Noon, and Sunday as arranged.

St. Anthony’s Garden of Eden
John Piper had triple by-pass surgery recently and is taking some time off from gardening. John says there is enough help in the garden in the meantime. You might email if you can help anyway.

Volunteer hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings starting at 11 am running through May.
For information about the Garden of Eden, please contact John Piper at or by calling 515-240-3146.

St Francis of Assisi Garden The garden is located across the street to the North, from St Francis of Assisi church in the North-east corner of the playground.

We have potatoes, onions, and beets planted and bunny fencing up, plus wildflowers and perennials planted for more pollinators.  We still need to plant turnips, carrots, and broccoli and warmer vegetables.  We work on Sunday evenings from 6-7pm.

For more information, contact Jan Hoeman at

St. John’s Faith Garden

On May 14, ten volunteers completed planting at St. John’s Faith Garden.  We have tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, pole beans, lettuce, carrots and beets.  We’re happy to have four teams of four volunteers each who will share rotating garden duty of one week on, three weeks off.

Urban Harvest Garden – An outreach of Urban Heights Covenant benefitting the Urbandale/Windsor Heights Food Pantry – 7605 Aurora, Urbandale, Iowa  278-1371

Beans are popping and we are almost done planting.  Leaves are poking through the potato towers so maybe they will work!  This week the irrigation will go on and the vining crops.  Join us on Wednesday for a big plant night.  We are in need of wood mulch and compost to fill our flower  beds  that have settled.  Follow us on facebook for up to the minute news!

If you would like to donate to Urban Harvest you can send a check with a designation on the note to:
Urban Heights Covenant | 7605 Aurora | Urbandale, Iowa

You can go to the church website at to donate using PayPal.  All donations are tax deductible.  ALL produce is donated to the Urbandale/Windsor Heights food pantry. You can also connect to the blog and Facebook there.

For further information contact Garden Manager Beth Rydberg at 314-2114
For information and best times to garden, please email Beth Rydberg at

Great websites:

Kitchen Gardeners International:
Modern Day Homesteaders:
Insect Identification:
Garden Inspiration: One man’s foray into raised bed gardening:

Sustainable Agriculture Resources and Organizations
ATTRA – National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service
SARE – Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
Growing for Market
The New Farm: Farmer-to-Farmer Know-How from The Rodale Institute
Seed Savers Exchange

Weed Identification
Oregon Biodynamic Group
Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research: Weed ID
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources: Weed ID

Pest Identification
Clemson University Pest ID

Recipe Idea:
Roasted Kale and Red Onions:
This recipe is a hundred times more amazing than the sum of its parts. It is addictive and has just the right combination of flavors and textures. I’ve made it many times and it never fails to please.

We hope to see you in the garden. Any garden.

 Posted by at 1:49 am