Our Mission:

Our Mission: To enable individuals and communities to take an active part in the cultivation of systems that provide the highest quality fruits, vegetables, herbs and other yields, in a way that benefits themselves, cares for the land and environment, and provides a surplus to use, share and reinvest into the system.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Abundance of Activity! FAO Community Orchard, Habitat ReStore & National Bike Month

Today my daughter and I joined the Forest Avenue Outreach Community Orchard planting event.  Ralph Chiodo and his family are bringing sustainable, nutritious food to one of Des Moines' "Food Deserts."  Starting after the Chiodo's moved back into the city a few years ago, Forest Avenue Outreach began planting the seeds of Hope, Faith, and Love with a community garden and has grown to include the beginnings of a community orchard, bee hives, educational programming and reaching out to help with basic needs.

You can support their work by volunteering, through prayer, and they could use:
  1. Plant Starts (tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower, eggplants, flowers, herbs, etc...)
  2. Seeds. We can always use seed to use, distribute, and/or help to enlarge our Community Seed Library.
  3. Gas cards - we use lots of power equipment that requires lots of fuel....
  4. Picnic tables
  5. Charcoal grills
  6. Electric water pump and solar panels. We have installed a large rainbarrel, but can't run the irrigation off it without a pump.
  7. Compost - we need a load of compost from Des Moines Metro Waste at both gardens and the orchard. Each load is 6+ cubic yards (approx 7 tons) and cost around $75 for the compost & about $100 to haul it.
  8. Propane Bottles - we need the propane to fuel the gas cook top for the cooking classes.
  9. We always need paper plates & bowls, napkins, plastic utensils, plastic cups, and disposable tablecloths for all our various events.
  10. Water sponsorship - we are still having to use a hydrant meter from Des Moines Water Works - approx $25 - $50 a month, depending on rainfall.
Feel free to contact Ralph, through their website www.forestaveoutreach.com or Facebook, with any questions.

The Des Moines Habitat for Humanity ReStore donated 100% of its proceeds on Friday to its branch there for disaster relief.  Although it's too late for your purchases to benefit earthquake victims in Nepal, the ReStore is a great place to buy materials for your next project.  A wide variety of materials are donated by contractors, manufacturers, retailers, and homeowners and can be found at very reasonable prices.  Thousands of tons of materials are diverted from the landfill, and the proceeds are used to further their mission of providing homes and hope to members of the community.  These bricks, purchased at the ReStore, made great borders for this vegetable garden installed earlier this Spring.

May is Bike Month.  May is a great month to tune up your bike (or consider investing in one) and get outside for a ride on the road or a trail.  Cycling is an excellent aerobic exercise that can be enjoyed by the entire family.  Biking reduces pollution and traffic congestion; it also helps you burn calories and save money.

Foggy Trail
Have you ever considered bicycling to work?  The Des Moines Bicycle Collective organizes Central Iowa Bike Month and the Bike Month Commuter Challenge.  This friendly competition pits local businesses and other organizations against each other to see who can rack up the highest percentage of commutes by bike.

"When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking." ~ Arthur Conan Doyle

Get out there and enjoy this time of year!  Plant your garden, ride your bike and lend a hand!

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