GARDEN OF EATIN' - ARCHIVE 2015-2014-2013

2015 - 2014 Garden of Eatin' Recap

OCT 2015

A big thank you to all who helped grow food for neighbors in need this year

As our third season of gardening comes to a close, I’d like to take this opportunity to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our dedicated volunteers! In addition to our friends at AHRC who water the garden for us each Monday and Wednesday, we had over 40 church members involved in some way. Maybe you helped us turn over the soil in the spring or planted the seeds. Perhaps you signed up to water the garden and delivered the produce to our neighbors in need, or even grew vegetables at home to add to the abundance. The Garden of Eatin' is truly a team effort and would not be possible without the help of all of you. Thank you!

~ Karen Hoenscheid


JULY 2015

Our flower and vegetable crops are flourishing! Have you signed up to water our grow-to-give garden? Our neighbors in need are looking forward to fresh, healthy produce!

Come to the Garden of Eatin' and enjoy the blossoming and flourishing plants and flower garden. All our tomato plants are blooming and setting their fruit with many repeating plants springing up in surprising places. This is what happens when a "healthy bed" is set for the seeds and plants to flourish in. Our zucchini and squash are robust, and newly planted bush bean seeds are declaring themselves amid thriving spinach. Hopefully, cucumbers will soon send their tendril vines upward and sport yellow blossoms also. We hope to have more eggplants this summer season. So, how are your container gardens doing at home? I've had a great crop of spinach, and now the peas are announcing their presence, twining upward on their support with white flowers and pods forming. In the Altar Guild cutting garden, we can't wait to see the myriad shades of sunflowers, zinnias, Asiatic lilies, and gladiolas.

Speaking of spinach, here’s a wonderful STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD recipe that Debbie McGee submitted to our St. Margaret’s Golden Anniversary Cookbook:

 2 tbsp. sesame seeds

l/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

l tbsp. minced red onion

l tbsp. poppy seeds

l/2 c. white sugar

l/2 c. olive oil

l/4 c. balsamic vinegar

l/4 tsp. paprika 

l (10 oz.) bag of spinach leaves

l qt. strawberries

l/4 c. slivered almonds

Mix together seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and onion. Cover and chill for l hour in a small bowl. In large bowl, toss spinach leaves, strawberries and almonds. Just prior to serving, pour dressing on salad and toss.



Everyone is encouraged to help us plant our crop of summer vegetables on Saturday, May 9, at NOON (rain date: Sunday, May 17, after the 10 a.m. service).

We will be planting tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant and cucumbers. Even if you're unable to help us plant, you can still help feed our neighbors in need by signing up to water and harvest the veggies for a week (or two) in the summer! There will be a sign-up sheet in both the narthex and online for your convenience. We will continue to donate the produce to Food Not Bombs in Huntington Station and the St. Ignatius Food Pantry in Hicksville.

On a personal note, as I listened to our youth lead us in the Good Friday Stations of the Cross readings, one particular passage made my eyes well up with tears. It was Station Number 5, Simon Helps Jesus. In this passage, the reply was, "Lord, make me realize that every time I wipe a dish, pick up an object off the floor, assist a child in some small task or give another preference in the store, EACH TIME I FEED THE HUNGRY, clothe the naked, teach the ignorant or lend my hand in any way - the kindness I extend to them I really give to you.”

We do a lot in St. Margaret's to feed the hungry - whether you donate a box of mac n' cheese each Sunday, make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or help with the Garden of Eatin', we are blessed to have these opportunities to spread God's love.

~ Karen “Hoe”-nscheid


APRIL 2015 - Season 3

Our Farm-at-Home program continues this year

Eatin’ revealing soil that is begging to be turned over and planted. Join us as we do just this on March 28 at 10 a.m. (rain date April 11) and help us plant cold-weather vegetables such as spinach, beets and snap peas.

We will do our next planting on Saturday, May 9, at 10 a.m. (rain date May 17 after the 10 a.m. service) with tomato, squash, cucumber, eggplant and more.

We will also continue our Farm-at-Home program where you can grow vegetables in a plastic bin to donate to our hungry neighbors. This year, we are expanding your choice of vegetables. Just let us know if you’d like to plant potatoes, tomatoes or eggplant, and we will provide everything you need and give you detailed instructions. Previous gardening experience NOT required.

The Garden of Eatin’ is a fun, meaningful outreach, but we need YOUR help! Please consider volunteering to tend the garden for a week. Remember: “One is nearer God’s heart in a garden than anyplace else on earth”!

Happy Spring,

~ Karen Hoe-nscheid



I associate the garden with being alive,

And so, there is nothing in the range of human experience

That is separate from what the garden can signify

In its eagerness and its insistence

And its driving energy to live - - to grow, to bear fruit.

~ Stanley Kunitz

May we always remember that true spring begins in our hearts.

~ Submitted by Barbara Festa


AUG 2014

Volunteers still needed as we water and harvest vegetables

August is a wonderful month for gardeners. After months of planning, planting and praying, we finally get to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Although we've already picked and donated lots of snap peas, and even a few zucchini and yellow squash, the best is still yet to come. Soon the eggplants will be ready for harvest, along with a bounty of cucumbers and a veritable onslaught of tomatoes in all colors and sizes! After that, our late planting of string beans will make an appearance, both on the ground and climbing up the trellis. And our 12 potato farmers will soon be ready to discover what bounty awaits within their containers. Pretty exciting stuff for a bunch of volunteers! Feel free to stop by the Garden of Eatin' to see what's happening and call Karen Hoenscheid to see how you can join the fun.



APRIL 2014

Planting dates: 
Cool weather crops: Saturday, April 5 at 10 a.m.
Warm weather crops: Saturday, May 10 a.m.

Did you know that some vegetables actually prefer cool weather? Join us on Saturday, April 5 at 10 a.m. (rain date April 6 after the 10 a.m. service) and help us turn over the soil and plant some rows of cool weather crops like peas, beets, radishes, and spinach! Wear your work clothes and bring your shovels for this quick, fun kick-off.

Want to help with the garden, but can’t make it on the 5th? In an effort to expand our produce, while involving more people, we will be purchasing all the materials necessary to grow potatoes … in your own yard! All you need is a sunny spot and a desire to help us get fresh produce into the hands of the needy. The Garden Committee will provide an 18 gallon plastic bin, soil, fertilizer, seed potatoes and instructions. You simply keep the little spuds watered and once the potatoes have matured, bring them to church. We’ll donate them to the food pantry at St. Ignatius and the folks at Food Not Bombs.

If you are interested in this program, contact Karen Hoenscheid. The committee is purchasing enough supplies for 10 “potato kits.” So call to reserve yours today!

P.S. We’ll be planting our warm weather crops on May 10 (rain date May 17).




Our first Garden of Eatin’ Wrap-Up

As Kurt and I began the process of “putting the garden to sleep” for the long winter, I found myself saddened by the sight of our tomato plants. While amazed that there was still fruit ripening on the vines, the leaves were shriveled, brown and dry – a sure sign that death is on the horizon. 

And then, we began to dig. As we worked the top layer of Sweet Peet (an organic mulch/miracle worker) into the soil, I realized that what I could see on the surface, a garden at the end of its life, was only part of the story. With each turn of the shovel, I was amazed at how many earthworms had made their home in our garden. The garden that appeared to be close to death on the surface was actually still brimming with life … I just couldn’t see it!

If you’re wondering if the first season of our grow-to-give garden was successful, I ask you to look at it in these two ways. On the surface, the garden produced an abundance of fresh produce for our neighbors in need and was a visible sign of our outreach efforts for all passersby. Since this was the main objective of the project, by this important standard, it was a success!  But since the title says, “What Lies Beneath the Surface,” I’d like to address the successes that aren’t quite as visible. 

We began a new relationship with Food Not Bombs and not only expanded our offerings to St. Ignatius, but also introduced more parishioners to their people and work. The garden gave us an opportunity to reach out to our neighbors at AHRC as they provided valuable help with watering and tending throughout the summer. At the ice-cream social, they became not just our neighbors, but our friends! We also became friends with Fr. Luke Fodor, as he shared his experiences with the grow-to-give garden at St. John’s, Cold Spring Harbor. He even gave us the ultimate gift for gardeners – a container of “Holy Bat Guano” from the bats living on their property! We will think of him next spring as we work this magical fertilizer into the soil. 

Our project gave even seasoned farmers like Barbara Festa “one of the most rewarding and holy garden experiences in her memory.” Both the Kott and Marshall-Zappala children talked of their excitement in being involved. Christine Kott was thankful for the “great experience” the garden gave her kids – especially when they got to visit the St. Ignatius Food Pantry - because, “it’s important for them to know that everyone doesn’t live the same.” 

I’d like to thank everyone that supported or helped with the garden in any way. We could not have done it without LOTS of help.

P.S. The garden committee is already working on some creative ways to increase participation and production for next year. All are welcome to join in the fun!