Archive for the ‘Community Garden’ Category

Prayer Garden and Beyond

Shabbat Shalom!

When I first started this blog back in March of 2011, I wrote the following entry:

“In the fall of 2007, as I completed the requirements for certification as a Texas Master Gardener, the Lord first planted in my heart the desire to establish a Biblical prayer garden. What started as a simple research and planting project for my Junior Master Gardeners–the Glory Gardeners–soon blossomed into a fully formed vision of a garden based on the Twelve Tribes of Israel. This garden would be a place of meditation and community for the Body of Christ. It would be a living representation of God’s chosen land right here in North Texas, complete with the relatives of Biblical plant species that are native or adapted to our part of the world. The garden would be a reflection of God’s loving care for His creation. After all, He is the ultimate Master Gardener.

After several years of waiting, it is finally time to start clearing, preparing, and planting the garden that God designed on a piece of property in Corinth, Texas. As the prophet Isaiah said, “You shall no longer be termed forsaken, nor shall your land any more be termed desolate; but you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married” (Isaiah 62:4).”

Much has changed on our piece of earth here in Corinth, Texas, since I first wrote those words. The two-acre Israel Prayer Garden is fully planted and flourishing. We continue to change, rearrange, and refine the garden because, as all gardeners know and understand, perfection is never attained but continually sought! Just this week we added two new planting areas, one in Judah and one in Manasseh.

What many people don’t know is that the remaining ten-plus acres of raw land on the Global Spheres campus serve another purpose. While the Prayer Garden is the heart of the property God has blessed us with, that remaining, undeveloped property provides space for fellowship, agriculture, and natural areas. Our Beulah Acres Community Garden includes vegetable garden space, a blackberry patch, a new fruit orchard, the grape vineyard, and demonstration gardens.

Over the last two weeks, Daniel Arenas and his assistants, Dylan Comeau and Ethan Pierce, have been hard at work constructing three types of environmentally responsible demonstration vegetable gardens: keyhole, spiral, and hugulkulture gardens. We believe that stewardship of the land is a relevant and significant part of the Christian life, which is why we choose to work with the Creator to restore this land to fruitfulness through responsible nurturing. Wendell Berry, the great agrarian essayist, said the following in his book The Unsettling of America:

“It is possible, I think, to say that… a Christian agriculture [is] formed upon the understanding that it is sinful for people to misuse or destroy what they did not make. The Creation is a unique, irreplaceable gift, therefore to be used with humility, respect, and skill.”

Please enjoy this video Tracey prepared documenting the formation of a hugulkulture garden. And remember, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.”


Clearing the Winter’s Debris

I confess: I do not enjoy winter.  The only thing good about it, for me, is that I have plenty of time to study plant and seed catalogs and dream of spring.  Thankfully, where I live, I don’t have to wait long for the first signs of spring.  Here in north Texas, the forsythia and flowering quince are in full bloom, the daffodils are bobbing their cheerful heads in the breeze, and the red bud trees are starting their annual show of color right on schedule.  It won’t be long until fields and roadsides are awash with Indian paintbrush and bluebonnets, the signature colors of a Texas spring!

This is the time of year for raking up the rest of the fallen leaves, trimming trees, shrubs, and perennials, and preparing for the growing season.  At the Twelve Tribes Garden site in Corinth, that is exactly what has been happening the past few days.  Now that the winter’s debris is cleared away, the planting process can begin in earnest!  Over the next several weeks, we will evaluate the existing irrigation system, start laying out the boundaries for the twelve garden areas, establish additional pathways, prepare planting beds, and plant trees and shrubs.  I will let you know when we have work days scheduled so you can make plans to join us in the garden.

Take a look at the freshly mowed and trimmed landscape.

Getting to Know the Garden

Two weeks ago, on an uncharacteristically warm February day, I went for a walk on the new Glory of Zion property in Corinth, Texas.  Tucked behind a portable building that will one day house a new kitchen facility and Servant’s House is the skeletal framework of the Twelve Tribes of Israel Prayer Garden.  Hidden by years of neglect and overgrowth I saw what will, one day, be a place of beauty, contemplation, prayer and community.

I believe we all enjoy watching a project unfold.  I find it hard to resist those “before and after” photos on the internet, especially when they involve a changing landscape.  For that reason, I took a series of photographs of the garden space as it was in February 2011 so that we would all be able to appreciate the changes that will be taking place over the next weeks, months, and years.

I will be updating this blog regularly with information, pictures, plans and work opportunities.

Come back often and enjoy the transformation!

Scroll down to experience my walk along with me.