Monthly Archives: May 2011

Fruit and More in Edible Forest

Richard and I started the day at the Jesse Gates Edible Forest at Wells Church. Loy tipped us off that blueberries and blackberries were ripe. We figured it was time to photograph the progress. You can see the earlier set of photos here.



watermelon blossom

tiny melon


orange thing




beans are up

Butterfly Garden

Just some photos today. Richard took these in our butterfly garden and patio. We needed some color this weekend.



bfy garden


stacked pots by patty


Page Ahead To Honor Growing Patterns

Growing Patterns is a finalist in the nonfiction category for Page Ahead’s Best Books for Kids 2011. Page Ahead is an organization that puts books into the hands of kids in Washington state. I love groups like Page Ahead! I will be headed to Seattle next month to attend Page Ahead’s Party at the Library Bistro, which looks like a great space to celebrate books.

growing patterns cover

Oldest Photographs from One Side of the Family

I am helping my mother and aunt with a family tree project. Both of them have been collecting facts, stories, and photographs on and off for decades. We think these are some of the oldest photographs we have in the family.
Bridget Healy Queeny Dillon
Thought to be Bridget Healy Queeny Dillon, who came to the United States in early adulthood. She was married to Mr. (?) Queeny and had two daughters. After Mr. Queeny died, she married Patrick Edward Dillon. Together they had a son, Richard Joseph Dillon, born on August 6, 1853, pictured here. Bridget is my great-great-great grandmother. Guessing young Richard to be less than two years old, it would seem this photograph would be from the late 1850s. Is this possible? Likely? Is it a daguerreotype?

unknown family memberThis is a photo of Catherine Weber. She is the mother of the first husband of my great-great grandmother, Clara Elizabeth Kraemer Otte (Gutting).
Our family history website is on my website here. You need to be a member of the family with login privileges to make changes and to view information on living family members. Contact me here, if you are family and want to join.

Jesse Gates Edible Forest Work Days

My church is helping transform an empty lot into an edible forest.

Here is some background information:

“The Jesse Gates Edible Forest at Wells Church came into being when two dreams met at the corner of Bailey Avenue and Idlewild Street in Jackson. In 2009, Wells Church acquired the property, concerned that the vacant house might become a source of trouble. Our dream was to replace the building with a garden that could be enjoyed by the neighborhood.

Children attending Galloway Elementary School walk past the house twice a day, and middle-schoolers stand in the front yard every morning waiting for the bus. Having that old vacant house right there didn’t seem like a good idea. We tore down the house and planted a lawn to provide some “green space” while we considered ideas for turning the lot into an appealing garden.

Then, we heard about the Mississippi Urban Forest Council, an organization aimed at promoting quality urban and community forestry in Mississippi. One of their goals was the establishment of a model “edible forest” to encourage the development of local orchards and vegetable sites and community gardens as one way to improve the health and welfare of Mississippians.

With help from the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, our dream of a welcoming garden and the council’s dream of a model “edible forest” came together at the corner of Bailey and Idlewild. And the work began.

The mission of the project includes providing a model for growing local sources of fruits and vegetables, encouraging individual healthy eating and providing alternative sources of income by growing local produce.

The “Edible Forest” includes 26 fruit trees and multiple herbs and vegetables. It will be managed by local volunteers.

Part of the project includes community and citizen education regarding which edible plants can be grown locally for fresh produce. If you would like to be included in this information please send your email to the Mississippi Urban Forest Council at

Shortly after work on the project began, we tragically lost one of our own young persons, Jesse Allen Gates, a talented musician and artist. Our Council and Board voted unanimously to dedicate this Edible Forest in his memory.

We invite you to drop by and visit the Jesse Gates Edible Forest at Wells Church, then contact the Mississippi Urban Forest Council for advice on how to develop one for your community.”

Richard and I are helping to document the transformation. We are getting help from lots of people, including the students who participate in after school programs at Operation Shoestring.

Here are some photographs we took at two work days: