Engaging

This past weekend we had 80 youth and adults at Luther Glen for our High School Winter Retreat! We spent the weekend talking about different ways to Engage others, ourselves, and God. The retreat theme came to life as the High Schooler’s entered the Luther Glen Farm where they were greeted by our animals and garden.

Watching as youth and adults were drawn to the different elements of the farm, we were able to experience and share just how unique and blessed we all are.

Some people let their love for the garden flourish as they helped pick kale, carrots, cilantro, and radishes that they then got to eat. Their time spent in the garden helped them to see how the food they eat grows and the importance of sustainable living.

Others spent time engaging with our animals, experiencing life in the chicken coop, and roaming with our herd of livestock. Their passion for this place really came alive when they had an opportunity to do service projects in various parts of the farm. A team of asphalt removers, painters, and chicken coop beautifiers were sprinkled all throughout the farm allowing them to experience ‘a day in the life at the Luther Glen Farm’.

During this time youth workers and campers saw how the works that was being done would help this farm far beyond one day of service. Thankfully this insight to service created high spirits, laughter and hard work.

We saw this weekend an ignited desire to share where food comes from, how animals live together, the hard work that goes into maintaining a farm and to talk more about sustainable living. The moments on the farm this weekend proved that this generation is a special one. Through passion, talent and the hard work, we reaffirmed the calling of this farm, especially for the youth in our communities that will be able to rise up and engage in their passions like they engaged the elements of the farm this weekend.

The weekend concluded with Pastor Glen preaching the importance of the food and the work that we are doing on the farm. One of those important things being that we have been able to help Central City Lutheran Mission located in the heart of San Bernardino’s food desert. The group came to understand that a food dessert is a place where it is easier to get fast food than fresh produce, a place where liquor stores are more common than a supermarket. And we all came to the conclusion that this farm is our way of engaging the community and people around us and that everyone in that room is called to engage the community and people around them, in all the different ways that may be.

This weekend we all witnessed Luther Glen Farm coming into its role for our youth and local community. We could not be happier with what the future holds for our herd, flock, community and campers.

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The beauty in today

Farming definitely keeps us busy. Whether it’s pruning our 70 tree strong orchard, planting spinach seeds or trimming sheep hooves, there is always something to do. The work keeps us on our toes and pushes us to be stronger physically, emotionally and even spiritually. There is beauty in this push – the new insights we see in the little things, the patience we find in ourselves during tedious tasks, the promise of growth that each of these things provides.

Recently, daffodils have sprouted up all over camp, beautiful new growth reminding us to breathe, take a moment and be grateful for right now. We see it as a little nudge from God to be thankful for the beauty in today.

A gift that keeps on giving

The start of the New Year marks a very exciting time.  It’s a time for us to dream and map out the summer garden.  With the help of the greenhouse, even though the temperatures are still in the 30’s at night, we can start our seeds.  In January, we plan and map out the garden and in February we plant!

Our effort to grow the highest quality food begins with intentional seed purchasing.  This year we have been fortunate enough to be a part of the High Mowing Seed Company’s Seed Donation Program – meaning they blessed us with 125 seed packets for free! These 100% certified organic and non-GMO seeds are the best we could get. We are so grateful for their support of our mission to engage retreat guests and outdoor school students with their food!

So the garden map has been made, and all this week we’ve been planting seeds! We have planted sugar snap peas, heirloom tomatoes, spinach, lettuce varieties, arugula,  cabbage, broccoli, carrots and onion seeds.  Come summer the 39 raised beds will be filled and flourishing.  Our summer staff, Retreat Center guests, outdoor school students and summer campers will all share in the abundance of the garden. We are so thankful for the donation from High Mowing Seeds and even more thankful that this will bring many smiles and feed many tummies.  A gift that keeps on giving.

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What’s in the garden?

Here at the Luther Glen farm we are at an elevation of 4,800 feet.  This means that even though we are a Southern California farm, it’s not sunny all year round.  Beginning in September our nightly temperatures can dip under 32 degrees Fahrenheit making it very difficult for many plants to grow. When this cold comes in, there are a couple of options for the garden: we can use a form of cover to protect the vegetables or we can plant frost tolerant crops.  We actively practice a mixture of both, using low tunnel hoop houses over our raised beds in addition to planting hardy vegetables.

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Our hoop houses are made out of PVC pipes and can be covered by either greenhouse plastic, bird netting, shade cloth or floating row cover material.  This year we made a switch from plastic to Agribon floating row cover blankets because they protect the crops from cold weather, insects, and birds while still allowing light and moisture to pass through, which allows us to leave them on all day. With this switch we have had a lot of success with the veggies continuing to grow through winter, whereas with the plastic cover and the plants stayed alive but did not grow bigger during that season.

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And of course we are growing hardy veggies that don’t mind to cold too much. Here’s a list of what’s currently growing in the garden: Siberian Dwarf Kale (Love this variety! Not bitter at all!), Rainbow Swiss chard, Burgundy Boston Lettuce, Bulls Blood Beets, a colorful carrot blend, Bloomsdale Spinach and Large Italian Softneck Garlic.  These varieties add greens, reds, yellows and purples brightening up our winter garden!

Do any of you have a garden? What do you grow in winter?

The Blog is back!

Though we haven’t made a post in a while that doesn’t mean nothing has happened on the farm.  Here’s a quick post to catch you all up on all the excitement.  From here on out we promise to be more consistent so you can stay up to date with your favorite Lutheran Farm.

This summer our garden was incredibly productive! Blessing not only our site and guests but also allowing us a surplus of garden veggies to donate to CCLM (Central City Lutheran Mission) and to sell at Emmanuel Lutheran in La Habra.

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These beautiful veggies continued to bless us well into fall! Our first hard freeze this winter wasn’t until December 2nd so up until December 1st we were harvesting buckets of tomatoes weekly!

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On December 4th Mary, one of our sheep, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy we are calling Benji. This mid-afternoon birth allowed our staff and a women’s retreat group to see the lamb take his first steps.

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On January 1st our other sheep Martha gave birth to a precious little girl who we’ve named Abigail.  Both Abigail and Benji are social little creatures and so long as you don’t make any sudden movements they love cuddles.

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This past weekend we had our first annual Luther Glen Family Winterfest and it was a huge success.  So much joy radiated all throughout camp as we sang, laughed, danced, held lambs and harvested veggies!

For Sale

We are selling two of our sweet baby goats, so if you or anyone your know are interested – let us know!

They are both male Nigerian dwarf mixed goats. Both have completed CD&T vaccines. Have been socialized with other goats, dogs and people and are very friendly.

These sweet boys would be a great addition to any farm or home. $150 each.

Please pass this on to anyone who might be interested, we hope they find loving homes soon! Email Office@LRCChome.com for more info!

Good Work!

Thank you to all of the volunteers who came out to Luther Glen last weekend for God’s Work, Our Hands and helped out on the farm! With all of your hard work we were able to plant nearly 100 trees and other various plants.  That is a huge achievement

and we had a blast!