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just.good.food was a project of three synods of the Presbyterian Church (USA) that began in the fall of 2012 and formally ended in the spring of 2016. The mission of the project was to create and strengthen partnerships between PC(USA) congregations and organizations that provide food for those who need it by: Planting Gardens, Building Community, and Distributing Food. More than 50 congregations in 10 states participated and raised (officially) nearly 10,000 lbs of food. (Unofficially the amount of food was much higher but we learned that gardeners aren’t that crazy about logging data in computers!) The archives can be found at just-good-food.org

Now that it's mid-July, the gardens are really growing. I've seen onions and garlic and lettuce and beans and peas and beets and cilantro too. What else are you growing?

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School's out for summer! It MUST be time to garden. And maybe even harvest. We've heard from FPC Palestine that they are well under way this season with new raised beds. How about the rest of you? How are things at FPC in Portage IN? Tippecane in Milwaukee WI? Covenant Pres in Des Moines?

Freezing temps are making it hard to get plants in up here in the north. Have you planted yet? Have you (gasp) harvested anything yet? radishes? greens? peas? do share!

Thanks to the good folks at FPC Palestine for getting us started this year! It's still snowing on and off in Wisconsin so we haven't been in the garden much ---- yet! But what about you? Are your seedlings in? Are you planting?

Be sure the straw mulch you use is weed and seed free so it doesn't sprout in your garden.

Use nitrogen-rich grass clippings for an occasional nitrogen boost in your vegetable garden.

Use a lawn mower with a bagger to collect and shred leaves for a fantastic garden mulch.

Baby arugula leaves are ready to harvest in just 21 days.

Do you have squirrels climbing up your bird feeder poles? Coat the poles with cooking oil to make them difficult to climb.

Are your tomatoes cracking? Sudden changes to the soil moisture can cause your tomatoes to crack. Try to keep the water supply consistent by using mulch and watering during dry spells.

Fall planted shallots, mulched with 6 inches of straw, should be ready for harvest in late spring.

1,670 pounds of produce have been harvested and donated so far this year!

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Keep plastic grocery bags near the entrance of your door. Slip them over your dirty shoes if you need to go inside for a quick minute before returning to the garden.

Line your garden walkways with newspaper and straw. At the end of the growing season, the straw and newspaper become a dark, crumbly compost that you can add to the beds for the next growing season.

Sprinkle used coffee grounds around your plants to protect them from ants, snails, and slugs.