Catching up with the Marshes

Neighbors listening to the live music, talking, and waiting on dinner.

It’s almost November and we are really enjoying this part of Florida. The people are very friendly, the skies are beautiful, gas is cheaper than in Gainesville, and we are having a real adventure! But best of all, we have really found a church that strikes all the best chords with us. We really fit in here, and we get the challenge we need to press into what God has called us to do.

A good example is the fall festival that people in our church put on for the community. We worked with another church (even another denomination!) to promote and supply the needs of the 300 people who came to John and Terri Erler’s small farm to eat, relax, play games, worship, hear the Gospel, and get to know one’s neighbors. About 120 children were among the visitors, many of whom were unchurched.

Sack racers and bean bag throwers abounded!

Cindi and I have been very busy serving with the local Good News Clubs and promoting the ministry among the churches that do not yet participate, but we are very hopeful by what we are seeing so far. God is moving in the hearts of people to reach the next generation, and we just need to bring them together. Fortunately, they are much more willing to do that than anything I have seen before.

On the home front, my bottle garden has been producing some lettuce plants, but the spinach has been a bust. I just ordered some heirloom tomato seeds to start indoors this winter so I will have plenty of tomatoes and plants to share with our church family. Someone just gave me a bunch of pots, so our container garden will have more places to grow.

We are having a yard sale this weekend at our house to help with our ministry expenses, as well as be able to give to others. If you expect to receive, you can never stop giving!

There are elections on Tuesday, and I hate to admit it, but I still have a lot of homework to do in this area. The only local candidate I really like right now is a guy running for one of the seats on the mosquito control board.

I will let you know how my plants are doing as they keep growing. Later!

Citrus County Infomercial

I have lived here almost 7 weeks, and I am still learning new things about this area. This video was uploaded to YouTube 2 years ago, but I believe it is up to date enough to give most of us a snapshot of Citrus County. If anyone has a difference of opinion, who has also lived here a longĀ  time, please post a comment!

The Pop Bottle Garden

Ye old gardener wiring bottles to a chicken wire fence.

I got excited about growing my own “tower garden” after seeing it done on YouTube. So, when we first moved in, about 6 weeks ago, I started drinking Diet Coke and various other soft drinks in earnest, and collecting the bottles. I watched some more videos, got some books, went to see the “master gardener” at the library, and could finally wait no longer. I had to at least start the garden if I wanted to have some winter crops!

I started modestly, getting some of the organic spinach and lettuce seeds that a friend had bought, and set up 17 bottles that will each be home to at least one plant. I have room for about 160 bottles, but I don’t think I can drink that much soda without counteracting all the good effects of eating fresh vegetables from my own garden. But I do hope to expand the garden to its full capacity, and make some bucket towers for tomato and pepper plants. I’d also like to grow some beets, but I don’t know if root vegetables like those are a good fit with bottles.

I use green bottles for the watering bottles because the reduce the light coming in.

This is what the first 3 towers look like. On the right are where I have planted the spinach. I will have one column of spinach, and two columns of lettuce to start. I have cut the bottoms off the two liter bottles so each will fit snugly in the one below. The bottles are capped, but there is a small hole drilled in each cap to let the water flow through. I have cut a planting window at dirt level so I can both plant and harvest out the same opening. Hopefully, this will give me a weed-free garden with minimal pest damage!

All the towers will rest on a concrete pad and be wired to the chicken wire fence I have set up on two sides of the 10×10 ft concrete pad outside our bedroom sliding glass doors.

I will add towers as I get bottles. And I will try to find more plants that will fit in them. My goal is to grow enough food on that concrete pad to make a big dent in our grocery budget, and to share with others! I will add more pictures in the future. In the meantime, I will share the video that inspired me. I figured that if a professor in Belgium can have this sort of success in his climate, this should be a piece of cake in Homosassa!