#HoustonStrong

#HoustonStrong

I am honored to have participated in a trip to Houston last week for disaster relief after Hurricane Harvey. It was coordinated by an organization called Nechama, and promoted in Chicago through the Jewish United Fund. When I saw the email invitation, I quickly checked my calendar and said, “Yes!” I submitted an application and was invited to take part. Nineteen people – sixteen volunteers and three JUF staff members – traveled to Texas to see...

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Planning Your Garden Part 4: The Fall Garden

Planning Your Garden Part 4: The Fall Garden

In the last few weeks,  we have harvested lots of fruits and veggies, and some plants have completed their season. The garden looks different. There are big pockets of emptiness, soil with nothing growing in it. Harvesting turnips, beets and carrots leaves beds empty. Pulling out the leaf baby lettuces after the third or fourth cutting of their leaves, and removing the sugar snap peas once the weather heated up, left open holes in the earth....

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A Special Volunteer!

A Special Volunteer!

Last Saturday I had the honor of seeing one of my former students become a bar mitzvah. It was especially meaningful because of the close relationships I have with so many members of his family, particularly with his grandmother Judy (Gunga, as she is known), who is one of In the Gardens’ main volunteers. And yet it was even more meaningful because this gentleman has been spending the last few months here working with In the Gardens for his...

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Volunteers Make our Gardens Grow

Volunteers Make our Gardens Grow

This weekend, being a long one with the Memorial Day holiday, gave more time than usual to be in the garden. We held two volunteer days, and while our numbers were modest, our work was extraordinary. One might not realize what goes into making a garden productive and functional, let alone beautiful. And we want our garden sites to be beautiful as well as fruitful. This weekend’s objectives were to: replace an 8’ x 3’ cedar raised bed that had...

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In the Gardens First Volunteer Day!

In the Gardens First Volunteer Day!

This past Sunday, April 23, was In the Gardens’ first formal Volunteer Day, and a great day it was. We tackled a number of projects. Early this week we brought several cubic yards of compost to the property, and the first objective was to use it in the rebuilding of the keyhole garden. A keyhole garden is a permaculture design term. In making inwardly or outwardly curved areas, like a keyhole or its perimeter, one can make better use of one’s...

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