Lone Tree Garden takes root

Planting is well underway at Lone Tree Garden, where refugee families from Burma, Burundi and Bhutan are returning to their agrarian roots and making connections with local volunteers.

Nine families have signed on to farm the soil donated by organizer Ryan Galloway as Lutheran Services in Iowa volunteer Jane Scanlon works to build bridges between community supporters and those who have been forced to flee war-torn homelands.

On May 7, we kicked off the spring planting season with a workday and barbeque at Lone Tree Garden and are now ready to water, weed and watch our produce grow near Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway.

A special thank you to Jason Urban of Adel-based Raccoon River Rental for his kind donation of the tilling machine that helped us break up hollowed ground. We also appreciate the time grass-roots gardener Dan Goldman spent teaching us on May 14 the best way to approach our seven-plot parcel.

We look forward to a productive summer of relationship building among all our gardeners. Please pray our labor leads to a plentiful harvest.

Psalm 126:5

Drake area refugees to connect with community gardeners

Friends and organizers of the soup house will partner this spring with Lutheran Services in Iowa to cultivate relationships among community volunteers and refugees from Burma, Burundi, and Bhutan.

Jane Scanlon, an LSI volunteer who made an appearance at soup night on Wednesday, said the nonprofit organization’s community garden program is intended to help families that were torn from their homelands return to their agrarian roots.

Hundreds of refugees have resettled within miles of Drake University, Jane said, noting that LSI wants to help them make connections in Central Des Moines as they learn to farm on American soil.

On April 16, up to 11 families and nearly a dozen volunteers are expected to attend an informational and planning meeting at Lone Tree Garden, 1160 Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, where six plots have been reserved for spring planting.

With a focus on sustainability and community, volunteers will act as liaisons between refugees and LSI, as they encounter new people, encourage new friends and harvest new relationships.

“For me, working with refugees has been like traveling around the world without leaving Des Moines,” Jane said.

– TR

Psalm 126:5