Jesse Gates Edible Forest

Green Beans

The bean plants were covered with beans yesterday when Richard and I stopped in to take more photographs of the Jesse Gates Edible Forest. We picked some to take this photograph; we also picked a few hot peppers to add some color. My own garden isn’t so far along; I have a few green tomatoes and just-set eggplant, but the only things I’ve harvested are peppers and herbs.
green beansIf you want to see how the garden looked a few weeks back, see this post.

beans on vineThis is what these beans looked like a few weeks ago.

beans with blossoms


Jesse Gates Edible Forest

I’ve missed the work days this spring for the Jesse Gates Edible Forest, but I spent some time there this morning after church. There are lots of new plantings and I can see progress with the trees and berries planted last year. Also new is the sign.

jesse gates signsquashsquash flowerspricklymatersmintasparagusfigsblueberriescabbage

Jesse Gates Edible Forest October Work Day

On this sunny day, it was only Loy and me at the Jesse Gates Edible Forest at Wells Church. Lots of lettuce, herbs, and greens are growing! I brought home a huge bunch of lettuce for salads and two peppers.


The cabbages were beginning to head.


Loy checking the information tag for the cabbage.


This lettuce started from seed. It is showing out!


This is a purple top turnip. See the tiny bit of purple.

mesculin mix

Mesclun Mix. In a shadier spot, not growing as quickly.


We put down newspapers, wet them, and put pine straw and leaf matter on top.

pine straw

Loy moving pine straw into place.


Wetting it all down.


Forest lettuce with tomatoes, onions, peppers.

Painting Photographs

I’ve been wanting to do some more playing with Photoshop for a while. And, this flower inspired me to try again. I found this tutorial, again, and used it to nice effect.

painted eggplant flower

You can see the original photograph in the previous post.

painted pecans with vines
pecans in vines
painted vine knot

knotted vines

Let me know what you think of these. Do you like the originals or the “painted” versions?

Jesse Gates Edible Forest After Fall Planting

Three weeks ago, a group of volunteers participated in a fall work day at the Jesse Gates Edible Forest at Wells Church. Richard and I got over there yesterday to photograph the new plantings. Some plants started as seeds and others were seedlings. We saw broccoli, cabbage, greens, onions, and lettuce. I’ve also got some photographs of eggplant, peppers, and asparagus that are still growing from the spring planting.
tiny lettuces

onion in broccoli patch



broccoli h

three peppers
eggplant blossom

richard taking pictures

Operation Shoestring Students Visit Garden

On Friday, students from Operation Shoestring visited the Jesse Gates Edible Forest at Wells Church to see the growth. After a tour of the garden, volunteers from the church served a buffet of vegetable dishes and fruit. It was a very hot July day (about 100 degrees). You can click here to see earlier posts about the Jesse Gates Edible Forest at Wells Church.

kids see peas

display pea

yellow squash

talking with loy

finding the pepper


opening a pod

walking to church



two girls serving


yum 2

larger garden view

Jesse Gates Edible Forest in June

We stopped in during a workday at the Jesse Gates Edible Forest at Wells Church. We nibbled blueberries and visited for a few minutes with neighbors and other volunteers. You can see below how things are coming along. Remember, this is a partnership with the Mississippi Urban Forest Council, the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, Wells Church, and Operation Shoestring.

You can see previous posts here and here..

leaf on a bean plantI loved this bean leaf.
peachA tiny peach.
onionAn onion.
plumA plum.
fence work dayOur project director, Loy Moncrief, and volunteers, Jane Streets, Sheila and Bobby Robinson.

neighborSheila and Bobby Robinson.

watermelonA watermelon.
smaller beansMore beans.
One of the things dug up along the fence.

Sheila’s dog.

Operation Shoestring kids with sign

Kids from Operation Shoestring standing with Loy Moncrief, Jane Streets, and Star Pool. This sign will serve until a permanent one can be made. I love the colors!

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

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: