The Giving Garden

To contact the committee chairs, click here.  This garden is located on the grounds of Christ the Savior Lutheran Church, 10500 E 126th Street, Fishers, IN 46038.

Purpose

Grow produce for local food pantries to address food insecurity.

Offer gardening education opportunities to local gardeners, students, volunteers, HCMGA members, food recipients and seniors (discussion and hands-on).

Plan and operate a large (1/4 acre) public demonstration vegetable, fruit and herb garden exhibiting best practices in crop rotation, soil management, irrigation, variety selection, weed management, cover crops, companion crops, pollinators, biodiversity, yields, harvesting, hardscape management, composting, organic fertilizing, insect control, planting, physical supports, and maintenance.

Increase awareness of HCMGA and good gardening through programs and partners.

Provide garden space and resources for other HCMGA committees.

 

History of Committee

Fishers Rotary started a community garden at Christ the Savior Lutheran Church (10500 E 126th St) in 2014 to grow produce to serve local food pantries.  After eight years of managing and providing volunteers for the garden Fishers Rotary was looking for an organization to assume leadership of the garden. They approached HCMGA and we agreed to provide an advisor and offer volunteer hour opportunities to members in 2023.  Leslie Snyder, Denise Miller, and Tom Kapostasy proposed that the HCMGA assume the lead role in the garden starting in 2024 with a funded formal committee.  During the 2024 transition year, 5 of the 9 individual gardens would be planted with a commitment from Fishers Rotary to provide volunteer support and allow use of their equipment and supplies.

 

Partners

Contact information is maintained in a publicly accessible document.

Christ the Savior Lutheran Church

Fishers Rotary

Fishers UMC – “Come to Me” food pantry.

Delaware Township food pantry

Noblesville St Vincent de Paul food pantry

Brawner’s Greenhouse, McCordsville

Gatewood Greenhouse

Greenscape

Boy Scout troop

Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District

Urban Farmer Seeds (UFS) – Westfield

 

Operations

Ensure co-chair or crop captain are assigned to lead hardware, planting, grounds and pest control, harvesting, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes, cabbage, vines, carrots, onions, flowers, herbs, beans, and cover crops (as scheduled each year).

Record weight and portions of harvested produce.  Track conditions and results by crop monthly.  Provide training and monitor compliance with Safe Produce guidelines. 

September – October – November

Harvesting, weeding, garden clearance (scouts), composting, cover crop planting, hardware removal, manure fertilizing, path maintenance, weed tarp application, inventory supplies, evaluate fabric and equipment, close irrigation system.  Harvest seeds.  Secure co-chairs and crop captains for next year.  Elementary school students’ visits.  Annual HCMGA committee reviews.

December – January – February – March

Order seeds, nursery services, supplies and equipment.  Off-season maintenance.  Cover crop mowing.  Move, remove weed control tarps and landscape fabric for new season.  Apply compost, manure fertilizer and pre-emergent herbicide as required.  Volunteer recruitment. 

April – May – Early June

Prepare planting rows: tilling, mulch, landscape fabric, initial weeding.  Set up hardware, fencing, row covers and irrigation system.  Plant seeds, sets and seedlings (student help).  Monitor and adjust irrigation, fertilizer, weed and pest control.  Hand water as needed.  Thin and trim plantings.  Weed.  Early harvesting, packing, weighing, and delivery begins.  Attach plants to hardware.  Label rows.  Host church gardener question days.  Volunteer recruitment.  Elementary school students’ visits.

June – July – August

Monitor and adjust irrigation, fertilizer, pest control, hardware, fences, and row covers.  Thin and trim plants, amend mulch, weed, main harvesting and composting.  Host garden visit day(s).  Volunteer recruitment.  Senior center visits.  Church gardener question days.

 

Committee Chairs

2024 – Tom Kapostasy, Denise Miller, Tracy Smith, Leslie Snyder

 

Tarping part of the garden in late 2023:

 

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