ELM News – January 2015


ELM LogoJanuary



Sowing the Seed

The Ecological Land Ministry (ELM) Task Force is pleased to report that our church land has been sown with clover, and that the berm and the future Garden Grove (currently the grassy sink along Nashville Rd) has been sown with clover, peas, and twenty species of native wildflowers.Fourteen members and friends participated in the sowing after the Sunday service on January 11th.  Two friends of the church traveled from Nashville and another came from Caneyville, KY, just to lend a hand as we begin to transform our land by planting meadows, trees, gardens, and clover lawns.

We are most grateful to Jerry Gibbs, Michele Steiner, Aidan Steiner, Mark Lowry III, Mark Lowry IV, Hannah Lloyd, Willie Huston, Aaron Carmona, Kristina Monsoor, Jacob Mudd, Jan Garrett, Janeen Grohsmeyer, Meagan Harris, and Tim Kercheville for their labor in sowing during some precipitation, especially after a most wintry week!

Now we are hoping for heavy doses of late winter precipitation–snow would be the best by far–to plant the seeds into the finest layer of topsoil so that they may germinate in early spring. The flowers will begin to alter our predominantly fescue lawns, a process which will continue to develop over the next several years.

Look for clover and peas to germinate first, possibly as soon as late February, then grasses and wildflowers to follow in late spring and early summer after the peas dry up and fall to earth, building soil.


  • Birds Eyes
  • Arroyo Lupine
  • California Bluebell
  • Five Spot
  • Indian Blanket
  • Mexican Hat
  • California Poppy
  • Blanketflower
  • Black Eyed Susan
  • Wild PerennialLupine
  • Purple Coneflower
  • Blue Columbine
  • Plains Coreopsis
  • Lance Leaved Coreopsis
  • Blue Flax
  • Rocky Mountain
  • Penstemon
  • Drummond Phlox
  • Blazing Star
  • Lemon Mint
20150111_134053 20150111_134128 pitcher blueshirt

Some of the

many ways

to sow

Digging the Dirt

We’ll continue digging trenches along the flagged outlines of the Garden Grove to mark the boundaries between mowed lawn and flower meadows.  The soil from the trenches is being placed atop our hugelkultur. Last year some of it was merely a mulched mound and grew only potatoes. This coming year, with good topsoil from the trenches, it will grow a full array of vegetables for our shared meals

Planting the Trees

In the third or fourth week of February, we will plant scores of native and food-producing trees and shrubs in the meadows. In time, the plain grass lawn will be transformed into a Garden Grove: a garden of wildflowers beneath groves of stately trees and beautiful shrubs.

By working with the interconnected web of life of which we are a part, we are creating a legacy of natural wealth for future generations. The polycultural plantings of our design mimic the polycultures of nature, with each guild of plants developing as a food-producing ecosystem, unlike conventional monoculture orchards. We hope to be enjoying the first fruits of the perennials in some three or four years. That is one of the virtues of polycultural design.


  • Wild Plum
  • Witch Hazel
  • Hazelnut
  • Red Mulberry
  • Persimmon
  • Golden Currant
  • Elderberry
  • Black Chokeberry
  • Fig
  • Apple
  • Pear

Give a Tree!

If you would like to donate a fruit or nut tree or shrub please contact the ELM Team at elm@uubgky.org

  • Imagine a flowering understory of native species with scores of blooming trees— walnut and persimmon trees spreading over mulberry, with wild plum and hazelnut below
  • Imagine elderberry and black chokeberry; with figs and apples and pears
  • Imagine feasts of their fruits along with garden vegetables–potatoes, tomatoes, winter squash, greens, shallots, garlic, strawberries…
  • Imagine earth-centered rituals and a growing church membership, delighting in the well-spring of nature.


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