Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Zucchini recipe and garden pictures

Hello Gardening friends and Partners!
Last week the Unity Gardens had a booth at the South Bend Urban Farmer's Market. The display highlighted two gardens per poster board. Attached are photos of LaSalle Square/ Robertson's- 3722, Broadway/ Our Lady of the Road- 3723, and Greenhouse/ Homeless Center- 3724.
Each of these gardens has a unique story and history which I plan to share in the coming weeks. The other 6 gardens are pictured on the next e-mail.
The gardens have been fruitful, but there is still tremendous need in our community. Every time I visit a garden, I meet people who share their stories with me. I continue to be inspired by the resilience and tenacity of people in our community. They remind me why;
We Are Growing More than Vegetables Here.
Here are the photos of the next 6 gardens. Portage/ South Paw- 3725, Salvation Army- Monroe Park- 3726, Butternut Squash/ Garden of Saint Therese 3727. At the market I also ran into the founders of the Sherman Street Community Garden 3780 and 3783, so I've included photos of this awesome endeavor. Again, stories to come!

As zucchini comes in well, I thought I would share a recipe originally offered from Betty Kummeth of Goshen. and forwarded from Church Community Services and Soup of Success in Elkhart, I was so impressed with the good work they do in Elkhart, but also with the dire need. Their food pantry is swamped with people
Fake Pineapple

This works using those large zucchini that do not do well in other recipes:

4 quarts ground zucchini- no peels or seeds
1 1/2 cups Real lemon juice
1 46-ounce can unsweetened pineapple juice
3 cups sugar

Grate or grind zucchini after removing seeds and peels.
Mix with other ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.
Stir frequently.
Pour mixture into clean, sterilized jars.
Process 30 minutes in hot water bath.
Remove jars and cool.

Use as a substitute for crushed pineapple in other recipes.

Sara Stewart U RN MSNc

Friday, August 7, 2009

Unity Gardens Inc & Farmers' Market Sat 8 to 12

It has been a productive and eventful July for the Unity Gardens. Or should I say, the Unity Gardens Inc! Yes, we are now incorporated as a not for profit charity and are applying for tax exemption within the month. Thanks to Julia and Stephanie at Barnes and Thornburg for their time, support and efficiency. Imagine my surprise when they handed me the official incorporation papers! I almost cried! They have also agreed to serve on Unity Garden Committees to help this organization continue "grow". Additionally, Mike Keen, Krista Bailey, and Marcia McCoy have agreed to serve as directors for the Unity Gardens Inc. Their expertise and labor has been invaluable to the initiative thus far.

Walmart on Ireland Road in South Bend also donated over 100 plants to the Unity Gardens. So many people in our community are enjoying green tomatoes and peppers due in part to their generosity.

Happy National Farmers' Market Week. Please try to stop by the Urban Farmer's Market on Bendix just south of LincolnWay West in South Bend. Along with fresh produce to purchase from local vendors, the Unity Gardens Inc. has a photo collage to enjoy highlighting many of the Unity Gardens. Just a few blocks away from the market, you can also visit the LaSalle Square Unity Garden (west), The Garden of Saint Therese (East on Prast) or even the Butternut Squash Unity Garden (South). The Market runs from 8am to 12 pm every Saturday.

Within the last 2 weeks we have seen many people enjoying the Unity Gardens. At LaSalle Square I have run in to 3 families, 2 farmers, and a horse! Many teens have stopped by to see "whatzup" over there. There has never been over ripe produce to harvest! The community continues to use the garden and the supplies there respectfully.

Thanks to all of you who have helped! We are looking forward to many exciting opportunities for all!

Sara Stewart U. RN MSNc
Unity Gardens Inc.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Signs at LaSalle Square

Check out the new signs . Many items ready to pick now !! The Garden is looking great !!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Next Weeks Event

Hey everyone !!! Next Wed July 15th from noon to 3 pm there will be a volunteer event at the LaSalle Square Unity Garden . The more the merrier So PLEASE come out to help water , weed , and mulch . The garden is looking great so lets continue the hard work !! The fruits of our labor are paying off . Soon there will be a bountiful harvest thanks to the efforts of all . Already there radishes , Dill , Basil , and tomatoes , ready to eat . So come harvest with us .

Friday, June 26, 2009

WNIT , WNDU & SB Tribune

Hello Gardening friends and partners!
There has been more and more attention to the Unity Gardens now that harvests are being reaped. Although the strawberries, dill, radishes, lettuce, peas, and spinach are all great, the most exciting "harvest" has been in the community building processes. I have witnessed the Monroe Park neighborhood come together to keep their garden beautiful in both food and aesthetics. It is truly a great place to relax and enjoy. The communication to coordinate the garden activities is being handled within the group! They are growing the Unity philosophy.At LaSalle Square, neighbors and curious passer-bys are more actively greeting and visiting one another. People have stopped by to offer plants and inquire about other needs. Most people are still surprised that the food there can be openly shared. Thanks to WNDU for airing a follow-up story to the one last month.The Center for the Homeless and their exisitng community garden held a very successful open house. It is a beautiful garden that inspires the future vison of what all the Unity Gardens can look like with formal gathering areas, water fixtures, and open tool sheds. The generosity and success of the donors for that garden have directly led to the current generosity and support of the Unity Gardens within our community.The Portage Community Garden, our most recent addition, is beautiful also. The gentleman at the Department of Corrections has labored in this heat to till and plant. A few residents of Portage Manor offered me the tour of "their" garden. The enthusiasm for the garden and anticipation for fresh strawberries reminded me of last year when some of the folks "outside" shared their memories of family gardens of the past and the flavors enjoyed long ago.The Robertson's container garden is something to see. The containers have been placed in ways to create gathering areas on their patio. Many thanks to The South Bend Tribune that ran a wonderful article last Sunday covering their story.The garden of Saint Therese has served as an inspiration for those businesses and residents in the surrounding area (LincolnWay West and Olive). The Market across the stree on Prast actually cleared some land to plant their own vegetables as well! They were so welcoming and excited to get the updated Unity Garden Flier.Please tune in to WNIT, channel 34, to see the discussion regarding the Unity Gardens Initiative and how our community is stepping up as a leader is solving global food issues! The show will air at 8:30pm tonight and Monday in addition to 12:30 on Sunday.We still need: volunteers on Saturday ams for the LaSalle Square Unity Garden and tomato cages for a number of gardens. We did receive some tomato cages in response to the original e-mail, but we are growing so much, we could use about 50 more.Thanks to all of you for helping sprout the seeds of sharing! At the risk of being redundant.........We are growing more than vegetables here!Sara Stewart U. RN MSNcwww 574-315-4361

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Plant and weed; Sat 10:30am LaSalle Square Unity Garden

Hello Unity Gardens friends and partners!

The Unity Gardens are all "growing" now. It is so good to see everything sprouting with this unseasonably late growing season. Pictures from last week and earlier this week are forthcoming. I'm so proud of the community initiative. The week of planting, Memorial weekend, I had a terrible flu. Without any notice I was taken out of the loop, but the gardens were all planted regardless! The seeds of sharing have indeed been sprouted in our community.

This Saturday around 10:30am to 1pm, a group will assemble to plant the remaining section of the LaSalle Square Unity Garden. Volunteers are welcome. The neighborhood participation and enthusiasm continues to build there. For those of you that have not visited the site, it is something spectacular to see. Bob Schmoke, "the tiller man" is actually "the engineer man" and has donated his time, materials, and expertise to design and build an irrigation system.

Please join us for the morning and help build our framework of sharing. Accessible, healthy food for all benefits the entire community and saves public dollars in health care and lost productivity.

See you Saturday!

Sara Stewart U. RN MSNc

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Education For Michiana Community Gardens

For Immediate Release

Contact Information: Krista Bailey Start Date: June 4, 2009

Community Gardens of Michiana End Date: September 12, 2009

P: 574/233/1055


Gardening Workshops Announced

Community Gardens of Michiana has announced a series of gardening workshops for 2009. They will take place at a variety of Community and Unity Garden locations in the greater South Bend area.

All workshops are designed to provide information and hands-on experience. Presented by Purdue Extension educators, Master Gardeners, and area gardening experts, the hour-long sessions will highlight a variety of topics appropriate to each stage of the gardening season. Workshops will be held either in the garden or indoors for seasonal food preparation.

All workshops are free and open to the public, including events held at service agencies such as the Center for the Homeless, The Salvation Army, and Broadway Christian Parish.

“We are excited that our guests will be able to learn about gardening and for the public to learn about the garden and our guests,” said Stephanie Brauer, an executive assistant at the Center and one of the staff who works with the garden.

“Having presentations on how to make our container gardens pretty and provide food and culinary herbs will help parishioners accept the idea of having a new garden at the church and be able to learn from it, too,” said Nancy Nichols, Pastor of Broadway Christian Parish.

The workshop schedule so far is:

Savor the Flavor: Grow an Easy Herb Garden

Wednesday June 10


Center for the Homeless Community Garden

813 S. Michigan St.

Composting 101

Monday June 15


The Unity Garden at The Salvation Army

Chapin & Western Ave. ( 303 Chapin St .)

Cooking from the Garden
Tuesdays at 10:00am

June 16, July 21, August 18, September 15

Ric's Garden of Hope at Broadway Christian Parish

Broadway and Carroll St.

(2 blocks East of Michigan, corner of Carroll & Broadway)

Cooking from the Garden
Wednesdays at 3:00pm

June 17, July 22, August 19, and September 16

Center for the Homeless Community Garden

813 S. Michigan St .

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Garden Bugs

Tuesday July 14


The Unity Garden at The Salvation Army

Chapin & Western Ave. ( 303 Chapin St .)

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Garden Bugs

Tuesday July 14


Greenhouse Community Garden

Potawatomi Greenhouse

2105 Mishawaka Ave.

(north of building near Kids Kingdom parking lot)

Community Gardens Open House

September 12

Times and Locations TBD

All workshops are free and open to the public. Late summer and fall workshops will be announced soon.

For more information, contact the gardens at or see the website at for garden phone and email contact information.

Community Gardens of Michiana provides gardening and educational opportunities that help connect people to each other and to the natural world. Gardens are designed to meet the needs of the neighborhoods where they are located. Community Gardens, which are open to a set group of gardeners each season, and Unity Gardens, which are open to the public to plant and harvest as needed, are both represented in the organization.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

LaSalle Square Unity Garden update

Good morning and Happy Memorial Day everyone!!!!!
Just an update on the LaSalle Square garden.....
Well, due to the death of a friend of the family I won't be able to be out there today to plant. I went out for a little while Sunday morning and got more corn planted. One of our volunteers, Dave and his son, came out and planted more and I think may have even set up the tomatoe plants so that anyone who comes out today can dig and plant them in their spots. He also watered alot and may have planted some watermelon. We still have eggplant, chard, kale and kolerabe, cucumber, carrots, and much much more to plant.
However, one of the most important things is finishing putting the dirt into the trench near the red handled water turn on parallel with Ardmore street. I covered the pipes yesterday with as much dirt as I could but after dropping a tree in my yard and working about 12 hours on that and cutting the wood I was a bit sore. So...if we could get people to finish covering the trench that would be great. At least the pipes aren't showing.
A few of my neighbors have seen the garden and are trying to help plan dates they can go. One guy even had a few Collard Green plants that he is going to take over there and plant. He is sooooo excited about this endeavor! I also had 2 cars stop to ask what we are doing and one said they'd come back sometime in the next week to help also.
And now to the good stuff....the harvest of the garden. Yesterday I say that the pinto bean seeds I planted the week before have begun to sprout out of the ground and so I feel rejuventated in the fact that things are indeed growing! Also...strawberrys have begun to grow on the few plants that are there and one was even red! A couple of the tomatoe plants even have tomatoes on them so hopefully we will have some luck.
This week I will be taking a combination lock to place on the pump so that there isn't any issues with the city. I will send out the combination for those that need it once I get ready to take and put it on there. Also, Linda left some garden hoses and a few of the paint stick stakes and I took the flags out there so there is stuff out there if needed. There may even be a garden glove I lost out there while planting!
Well, we are on our way out to the funeral but I thought I would give you all an update. IF you know any people who might go and garden there today could you let them know?
Thanks to all!
--Melissa Murawski

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Monroe Park Unity Garden Planting Dates


Please join us to plan and plant at South Carroll Streets on Thur or Friday afternoon between 4-5:30 ish. We have lettuces, potatoes, onion, tomatoes, carrots, okra, peppers sunflowers- and more. If you have ideas for other plants or seeds that appeal to your friends or families, speak up. If you would like to help plant but those times do not work for you, speak up. Other planting dates may follow, as well as a call for weeding and watering by those who will eat from the garden. We hope you can join us. Come even if you just have ideas but are not able to plant. This is a neighborhood garden!

Peace, Karen Coman

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Feed the Hungry Shares Seeds

Demonstrating the concept of "sowing seeds of sharing", Feed the Hungry donated an endless supply of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds to the Unity Gardens! Request seeds by commenting here or e-mail More information about Feed the Hungry is available at

Monday, May 18, 2009

LaSalle Square Garden Ready To Plant

LaSalle Square Unity Garden is being planted now! It is such an exciting time. The irrigation system works beautifully thanks to Bob Schmok's time, labor, and engineering expertise (not to mention the awesome equipment) and the South Bend Water Works help. Another true example of collaborative success for the benefit of all! Thanks also to all of the "rakers" in repairing the soil and sod lines; Andrew, Colten, Brenda, Dave, Mich, and J.T.. That was hard work in less than ideal weather conditions. Melissa and Linda, the garden leaders have retrieved seeds and seedlings to plant. The next day for mass volunteers will be Sunday or Monday, depending on everyone's availability. Please RSVP to Melissa at to let her know which day will work best. The attached flier also has her contact information (yes, antoher flier). More garden updates forthcoming. Broadway and Robertson's container gardens are ready for planting as well! Happy planting to all!Sara
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tilling Day & Need List

Hello Garden Friends and Partners!This has been the most exciting week for the Unity Gardens. Tilling is complete at The Salvation Army Unity Garden, the Monroe Park Unity Garden, and the LaSalle Square Unity Gardens. On Wednesday the Mishawaka Salvation Army Garden and the Garden of Saint Therese will be tilled.I've attached a few of the many pictures we captured during the week. Before we know it, we will be enjoying harvest time. Cool weather plants are ready to transplant or start from seed. According to local farmer, Gene Baughman, the Farmer's Almanac is calling for a late frost the last week of May. Now is the time to gather supplies and generate even more support for the gardens! The attached list of supplies are needed. Please feel free to donate to the garden of your choice, or to the Unity Gardens directly so they can be shared. Feel free to suggest other items. I may have forgotten something obvious. Seed and plant lists were sent out previously, but we have needs for more seeds and rhubarb. for the LaSalle Square garden.Once again, thank you for your support and encouragement. We are growing more than vegetables here!Sara Stewart U.
Need List
Tires Potato Starts Broad Fork Potting Soil
Seeds Compost Trellis Pick Up Truck
Fruit Trees Raspberries Blueberries Signs/ Flag for Logo
Shovels Stakes Tomato Cages Twine
Mulch Trowels Hoes Black Matting
Newspaper Garden gloves Baskets Hoses
Sprinklers Sharpies Stone/ large gravel Markers/Tags