Community invited to enjoy the gardening by BETH ALTENA Got grass? Then you have the makings of a beautiful garden. Area residents are invited to watch—or help—as North Kent Presbyterian Church’s grassy acreage is turned to a new task in the form of gardens that will be a U-pick pumpkin patch by fall. The “Come Grow with Us” campaign kicked off with a ceremony attended by church members, local Scouts, and Master Gardener John Venman, who is assisting in the garden project. Using Venman’s calendar, “Gardening with the Moon,” the church hopes to engage the public as the garden flourishes, providing giant pumpkins, pie pumpkins, gourds, leaf lettuce, tomatoes, beans, squash, flowers and other vegetables this summer. Seed starting day began on May 20 with 350 pumpkin seeds, which will eventually become the U-pick portion of the garden. Fred Adgate, of Independent Bank, who is a member of the church, said the project is an outreach that will help the church be more interactive in the community. Key dates for the church’s garden project include Planting Day on June 16. All summer long, members of the church will tend the garden as it grows in its large property at 6175 Kuttshill Drive. The public is invited to see the garden growing and purchase produce and flowers beginning September 29 through October 27. On October 13 the church has secured a booth at Rockford’s popular farm market in downtown Rockford. Anyone interested in participating in the garden is invited to contact the church by phone at (616) 866-2230 or e-mail at NKPChurch@gmail.com. Sunday worship service from June to August is at 10 a.m.; from September to May, service is at 10:45 a.m. “A small church with a big heart,” North Kent Presbyterian Church is a family of believers that supports faith in Jesus Christ through education, challenge, inspiration and outreach.
Gardening with the Moon
Need a last-minute gift for the gardener or sportsman on your shopping list? The 2012 “Gardening with the Moon” calendar by Venman’s Plant Service is available just in time for Christmas. Working in sync with phases of the moon, the 2012 calendar lists the best days for myriad tasks, including weeding, planting, pruning and harvesting. It even lists best days for hunting and fishing, entertaining and changing habits, like smoking cessation. “The ancient tradition of planting and harvesting by phases of the moon is not a forgotten art—just one that needs to be refined for practical use in today’s automated society,” said John Venman, who has been offering the calendar since 2008. “Previous generations calculated the moon’s effect on all aspects of gardening—soil preparation, weeding, planting, fertilizing transplanting, pruning and harvesting. It is still relevant today.” Venman’s Landscape Service and Soil-Alive Fertilizers, started in 1951, offers a full line of earth-friendly, organic products for gardeners. The moon calendar is an extension of what Venman says is practical, time-honored strategies for a healthy landscape. Daily recommendations allow users to work in harmony with the moon when it is waxing, full, waning and new. The 2012 calendar includes beautiful photos of Michigan’s scenery. Each calendar costs $15, which includes shipping. Send checks to Venman’s Plant Service, 510 Wolverine St. NE, Rockford, MI 49341. Calendars can also be purchased at the store. For information, call (616) 866-0323.