We love the idea of community gardening! A few months ago, Hoss had the opportunity to donate one of our Wheel Hoes to the Community of Jesus – an ecumenical Christian community made up of monastic Brothers & Sisters, along with married couples, families and single adults located in Orleans, Massachusetts. This community of 230 members, strong in their commitment to their faith and way of life, are also master gardeners!
Brother Andrew Smith is, as we have come to know, the chief gardener of the community gardening. He oversees three main gardens plus two potato patches – in all, the Community has about 2/3 of an acre under cultivation. We felt the members of this Community would greatly benefit from one of our Wheel Hoes – not only to take the strain out of gardening but to help the members really enjoy planting and harvesting their vegetables and fruits and get the most out of their crops.
At Hoss Tools, we are huge fans of sustainable gardening, and the Community of Jesus does an incredible job. Oh, and we have to mention the fact that the Community also has cows, chickens and goats! A true working farm with both plants and animals – coming together to provide for community members.
We decided to check back in with Brother Andrew to find out how things with the Hoss Wheel Hoe have been going and to hear how their day-to-day gardening duties have changed. As a side note, the Community grows all of their fruits and vegetables for their own consumption – so the proof is definitely in the pudding when mealtime comes around!
“We grow enough vegetables for 65 Sisters and 25 Brothers, so we are self sufficient in vegetables during the summer months, plus hopefully enough to freeze some for the wintertime,” said Brother Andrew. Vegetables that the members grow include: green beans, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini, strawberries, leeks, onions, carrots and potatoes.
Community Gardening with Hoss
So how has the Hoss Wheel Hoe performed? “The Hoss Wheel Hoe has been extremely helpful, ” says Brother Andrew. “We find that when we use it about every other day between all the rows of vegetables, it kept our weed count down to almost zero. We estimate it saved us hours and hours of wedding plus it made the garden look clean and cultivated.”
He added, “We place a high regard on beauty in the Community so the Hoss (wheel hoe) helped not only keep the weeds down but gave the gardens a very clean appearance.”
We feel very fortunate to have helped out such a hardworking, earnest group – the Community is a great model for sustainability and success in gardening for consumption. Grown on, Brother Andrew! The fruits of your labor are evident to us!