Dayspring’s Giving Garden

The Giving Garden has a few beds available for adoption!  Download the application and join us.

Our focus this month is painting, installing shelves, pegboard and moving into our new garden shed. The next project will be installing permanent compost bins that will allow us to compost much more efficiently.

Tuesday Garden Work Days have moved to 8:00 am to take advantage of the earlier daylight and cool temperatures. The next Saturday Work Day will be April 20 from 8:00-10:00am.

Look for more garden markets in May, June and possibly early July, as those ever-popular tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplants start producing for us.

Please remember that only the perimeter beds are tended by the garden team (Rows 1 & 6) for sharing with you at the weekly markets. The other garden beds (Rows 2, 3, 4, and 5) have been adopted by individuals and groups to grow produce for their families.

Weekly Garden Work Days:Weekdays – Tuesdays from 8:00 – 10:00am *

Monthly Garden Work Days – Saturdays – usually 3rd Saturday, from 9:00 – 11:00am *

Planting Days, in 2019 March 2nd and October 12th from 8:00 – 11:00am*

Volunteers should bring garden gloves and a water bottle with them on garden work days. 

*In case of rain or stormy conditions, garden work days may be postponed to another time.

The Giving Garden will host Garden Classes again in 2019.  If you would like to suggest a topic, please email Chris.

About Swiss Chard:


Chard is a dark leafy green that is similar to spinach.  It has a thick, crunchy stalk that may be white, red or yellow.  Both the leaves and stalk are edible.

Selection, Storage, and Uses:

Choose chard with deep green leaves that do not have brown or yellow spots.  The stalks should be crisp, not rubbery.   Chard leaves tend to collect sand and soil, so they should be washed very well before eating.  Fresh chard should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.  You can use chard in place of spinach in most recipes.  Add it fresh to salads, saute it with lemon and garlic, steam it and toss it with pasta, add it to omelets or frittatas, or layer it in lasagna.

Sauteed Swiss Chard

1 large bunch of chard (about 10 stems)
1 clove of garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water or broth
Pinch of dried, crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon of butter or olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 2-3 lemon wedges

Remove and chop the larger chard stems and set aside.  Chop the chard leaves and smaller stems into one-inch strips and set aside.  Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil, the larger stems, the garlic, and the red pepper.  Saute for about a minute and then stir in the chopped chard leaves.  Cover for about three minutes.  If it looks dry, stir in the water and cook for another three to five minutes, until the leaves are completely wilted.  Salt and pepper to taste, transfer to a serving dish, and add the remaining butter or olive oil, and juice from a few lemon wedges, if using.  Toss and serve.

About the Giving Garden

Members of the Giving Garden group at Dayspring UMC are hoping to help cultivate new green thumbs in south Tempe. After more than a year of learning, planning, and building, the church is opening its community garden to the neighborhood.

“The garden is open to anyone,” said Chris Lueck, head of theGiving Garden team, “individuals, families, groups… anyone who is interested can adopt a bed.” There is no cost to adopt one of the 4’ x 8’ raised beds, but donations are welcomed to help support the group’s mission –to grow a sustainable giving garden.

“We’re teaching sustainable growing practices, sharing research based gardening knowledge through classes, and building community through gardening activities and events,” Lueck said. “We already have a talented group of volunteers and want to welcome others.”

Each of the 28 rectangular cedar beds in the garden is raised 22” to control soil and increase accessibility. Water is supplied to each bed with an individual shutoff to allow for hand watering or drip irrigation. They are filled with a sandy/loam soil mixed with the City of Tempe’s free compost. “We have good soil right now,” said Lueck, “and it’s just going to get better.”

Education is a major component of the group’s work. They started offering free classes in April, led by local Master Gardeners, experienced in the challenges gardening in Arizona can present. Additionally, volunteers work together to learn best practices while maintaining their beds. Leaders help train interested volunteers on harvesting, composting, and sustainable practices for pest management and continual soil improvement.

Those who adopt garden beds are encouraged to plant and maintain their bed on their own, but resources are available for seeds, if needed. They are also expected to attend six or seven
garden events a year, including training classes, community building events, and even potluck meals to enjoy the produce they have harvested. If interested, please call the Church Office at (480) 838-1446 or email Chris Lueck at

Wish List

  •  1 White Board (2’x3’) with markers & eraser
  •  1 Hanging Garden Scale
  •  8 Hand Trowels
  •  12 kid-sized hand trowels
  •  1 Turning Fork for compost
  •  6 Small wood crates for selling produce at Garden Market
  •  4 Plastic Tubs for washing produce
  •  Women’s and men’s durable garden gloves (10 of each)
  •  Balanced Organic granular fertilizer
  •  Gift Cards to Home Depot for garden supplies