Jim Long's Garden: Bear Creek Reunion 2015

Jim Long's Garden: Bear Creek Reunion 2015

Bear Creek Reunion 2015

I haven't been to the Bear Creek Reunion since I was about 17 years old. My grandmother Harper, who never drove a car, asked me to take her to the Reunion one year. So it was fun to reconnect with the few people who I know there, and meet lots and lots of new people who are all my relatives. Following here is a short tour of what I think is a kind of amazing place. It's a church that was founded by several families including my own (Garrison, Harper & Wisner ancestors) along with Johnstons and others). Founded in 1856, this Methodist church remains active, alive and thriving today.
Bear Creek Methodist Church, est. 1856.
Inside the church.

One of the original pews that was saved from the remodeling some years back. 

Behind the church is the cemetery, well-maintained, with many of my relatives buried there.

Surrounding the church and cemetery is almost a park, old oak trees for shade. At the edge of the grounds is a band shell/stage with words over it, "Make a Joyful Noise." It is the spot of weekend music from time to time - there is even a Bear Creek Band from time to time. People bring their lawn chairs and listen to the local musicians who come to play.
Under the shade of the park-like setting is a very long table, permanent, for reunions, family dinners and their annual pig roast and fish fry - both of which are fundraisers that go to help local, needy families. For the annual Reunion, this table, probably 60 or 80 feet long and 4 feet wide, is almost groaning with food. My family likes to eat!
Food of every description and kind.
Yes, real fried chicken! Barbecued ribs, chicken and noodles.
I lost count of the desserts but 20 or 25 kinds. More than anyone could sample all of, but some tried!

To prove our family likes picnics, potlucks, food in general, here's my great grandfather, George Washington Garrison, about 1930 with my aunts, uncles and others, gathered around a picnic.
Yes, note, all my relatives have plates and food in their hands!
After lunch, people visited, milled around, shared photos, stories.

Musicians played. Music is always a big part of any reunion at Bear Creek Church.

John and Minerva Wisner
John and Minerva Wisner
John Adam and Lora Wisner 1836-1907
Harpers, 3 generations. My grandfather, James Edward Harper is center, back, age 16.

Three of Richard Garrison's sons, circ 1846-1850
Being at Bear Creek Reunion was a very satisfying and reassuring experience. Almost every person there was related in some way. Nearly all of us descend from the Wisner, Harper, Garrison, Cassity or related families. We all share DNA, we are all descended from the early pioneers, and every one of our ancestors came as immigrants from another country.


Buy Garden Seed, Helps Kids Gardening

School Gardens Teach Kids about Food and Where it Comes From

A few of the 500 kids in one of their 3 gardens at school.
Since it's seed-ordering season, if you are going to order garden seed, consider ordering some of your seed through my website. On my home page, scroll down to the bottom and on the left you'll see this button:
We raised $465 from Renee Shepherd, from people who ordered her seed through our website, all of that money going directly to the kids' garden project.        Thank you to all who ordered!
Kids gardening is important! When kids learn how to grow plants, learn where their food comes from and how to prepare healthy meals, they learn skills that will stay with them for their entire life. I've written about the amazing kids' garden project at the magnet school in Jonesboro, Arkansas, several times before. (Click here to see an earlier post and more photos). And here for the story about cooking with the kids in their amazing kitchen. But I thought you might like a reminder that this project is always struggling to find enough money for seed, soil and other supplies the kids need.

Learning to weed and identify the edible plants.
For 3 years we've had a button on our website, "Buy Seed, Help Kids." It's a project whereby you can order garden seed from Reneesgarden.com, for your own garden, and Renee Shepherd generously donates 25% of the revenue from your order, back to the school! It's a wonderful project. Unfortunately we only raise about $25 a year for the school. I don't know if people don't find the link, or don't want to order seed, but if you go to our website, LongCreekHerbs.com; here's the button you will see on the left side:

The lower left corner on our home page has the Help Children-Buy Seeds button. When you click on that, you are directed to a page with a code to enter when you place your order at Renee's Garden Seed You can order seed for your spring garden and when you order, it will count toward a donation for the kids' garden project, and you will receive outstanding seed.

Renee Shepherd, owner reneesgarden.com
Renee Shepherd donates to a wide variety of children's garden projects, both in the United States and in other countries. That's why we are so pleased to partner with her in helping this garden in Jonesboro, Arkansas. If you have not visited her website, please do so, her seed selections are outstanding and I grow many in my gardens each season.

To visit Renee's Garden website, go to our website at Long Creek Herbs, and click on the Help Children- Seeds button.  You'll find the link to Renee's Seeds website, look around and see if you aren't tempted by her spring seed offerings. Then when you order, use our code (it's in the instructions you'll see), so that she can make a donation to this wonderful project. Then, you will know that more kids, like this boy, below, can experience for the first time in their life, the taste and smell of a chive blossom and learn how to fix a meal using fresh herbs and vegetables right out of the garden.
I hope you'll consider ordering seed from Renee Shepherd, she has outstanding varieties you won't find anywhere else. And when you order, won't you do it through my website so the kids get credit? Thank you!
This was his first time smelling or tasting chives!