The Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship has an embarrisment of land. Much of this has been put to good use in the arboretum cared for by Bob Kintz. Much more could be done. Following in the tradition of PUUF to care for others and set an example, butterfly and vegetable gardens have been attempted and enjoyed, with various degrees of success.
Around December of 2006, with our sons and daughters fighting a war in some of the worlds largest oil fields, a (very small) movement started to attempt to show that some food could be produced locally without depending on any imported oil for the transportation, fertilizer, pesticides, storage, distribution, packaging, refrigeration, etc.. required by store purchased foods.
The gardens also count toward the possible future status of "Green Sanctuary" certification by the UUA which requires several earth friendly projects.
A meeting was held, and it was decided to put a "to do" list by the garden for our "Master Gardener" to add items as needed and for the rest of us to cross off as we could.
2007.01.22 A very nice mailbox was donated by a lady on EscondidoFreecycle and James Newton tucked it in between two trees along the fence nearest the plot. He wrote down what he could remember of what Kathleen Moscato said from the first meeting on a notepad donated by Allie and starting on the first item: Digging out the plot to a depth of one shovel blade.
2007.01.22 (and many sundays after) James Newton went out in the garden during the most boring parts of the service and dug out the soil for amendment. Dwight Smith worked many days after as well. Bob Kintz and some others helped as well.
2007.03.24 James Newton, Maria Orozco-Newton and their children Allie, Remy and Sean joined Dwight Smith at the garden to dig out and amend the soil. None of the other members who had expressed an interest were able to come.
2007.04.01 Citing a lack of interest on the part of the fellowship members who the garden was to inspire, James Newton dropped out leaving only one member still active.
2007.04.18 Dwight E. Smith, former paster and a good man, died of a ruptured aneurism after working in the garden to add "enrichments". Dwight was the only person who simply would not give up on the garden. Long after James had stopped, he just kept working on it alone. After 20 years in the oil industry, Dwight was well aware of the need to reduce our dependence on imported oil. Dwight had a great love of gardening was fostered by many dinners as a young man in the depressed south where the only food to eat was what had been grown in the family garden. The Smith family had kept one particular strain of bean seeds for many generations as it served them well in the garden. Some of those seeds were to be planted in this garden when, if, it was ready.
2007.04.19 Bond Perry, picked up the torch and finished the work, planting several types of tomatoes, peppers (donated by Maria Orozco-Newton), eggplant (two kinds), basil, oregano, parsley, yellow fleshed water melon, zucchini, ruby chard, sunflowers. Then, Bond was given half of the beans kept by Dwight and actually found the guts to plant three rows of them.
2007.05.19 The day before the memorial service, 3 of Dwights bean sprouted.
2007.05.20 Memorial service for Dwight E. Smith. Dwights surviving family and wife, Carol Hilton, were gracious and kind. Several people came to the garden and enjoyed Bonds work and the bean sprouts. James Newton said that Dwight would want us to continue with the garden and announced the upcoming memorial "no gas" dinner.
James Newton says: I have talked to a few people and there is an interest in trying to grow things again there, but some hope has to be presented that he failures of the past will not be repeated. In my mind, the lack of automatic watering was the thing that killed the last attempt at a vegetable garden. Lack of coordinated labor killed the prior butterfly garden.
Labor: Here are some suggestions for how to solve the labor problems we encountered in the past:
James, This looks like an excellent plan. I am not a Master Gardener, but would be glad to help at different times. Do we need to call a group together?????James Newton replies: At this point, we need a fence and I will be working on that during or after the first service sunday. I wish we could afford a nicer fence, but for now, it is just going to be chicken wire around metal poles. If you have any ideas other than that, please do let me know. I'm also going to try out the water timers that are stored in the shed to make sure they work correctly and then hopefully we can automate the watering and avoid the chance of people forgetting to water or watering too much or too little. Of course, with automation, there is always the chance of it breaking down, so the more often people check the better. Bond knows what needs to be done and I will forward his email to you. Kathleen and Maria are also a great gardeners if you want to ask them for what needs to be done.+
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