Good morning and welcome to create with Heidi. I'm Heidi Kaisand, owner of hen and chick studio in Conrad, Iowa, and lover of all things creative each week here on create with Heidi, we like to cover topics that educate and inspire you about how people are being creative, whether it's quilting scrapbooking food wall, or just hanging out with others who seem to have their creative Mojo grooving in all the right directions. We are excited to share these things with you. Each week, I like to start with a quote. And I actually pulled this quote from the brochure of this particular organization that we're talking about today, because it is one of my favorites. And it is First Peter, chapter four, verse 10. Each of you should use whatever gifts you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. And I think there are so many times in life that sometimes I think we forget about the fact that every one of us has a gift. And maybe my gift is a gift to gab or a gift to quilt. And others have a gift to grow. And today, my get my guests are Jane and Don linen Brank from Beeman. And they're the organization that they are involved with. And we're going to learn more about that here is growing hope globally. And so welcome, Jane. And Don, glad Glad to have you here this morning. Thank you. Thank you. That's, and I love that quote. And that verse from the Bible, because, again, I think every person in this world is blessed to with some kind of a trait that they can help others. And the fact that we tried to use that in whatever way it is, I often say that it's my my bid was born to help other people be creative. And if that's what I can do in the various forms that I do that I hopefully I'm serving God in the way that I should. I'm kind of guessing from my experiences, for sure, would don and Jane, you might have the green thumb also. But we might say that your skill is growing things. Would that be right? Done?
Yes. Yeah, I'd say that. I've had people say that to me. Yeah.
Because anybody who's been to hen and chick studio, the last oh my gosh, has it been three, four years that you have been providing the pumpkins that are always at the front step of hen and chick studio? In my wheelbarrow? You have been growing those pumpkins as part of a way to raise funds for growing hope globally. Is that correct?
That's correct. Yeah.
Yes. So tell us what do you what do you have a, you have a just a little pumpkin patch? Is that pumpkins, only pumpkins that you grow? What are the kinds of things that you grow in your offset, whether it's garden or field or what you have?
Well, I have have gardens at home, and I grow pumpkin Sarah along with a lot of vegetables, potatoes, beans, cucumbers, just typical garden stuff. And then also, as part of our growing Hope Project, we have a small parcel land, north of Conrad, it's actually owned by Brad Stevens. And He lets us grow stuff up there. Mostly we grow pumpkins up there, but we also grow some beans and potatoes. There's some people involved in this project that have little pots. But our main thing up there is pumpkin. So So
and they're easy to grow. Is that is that good? I see. No, I'm not. I've never grown a pumpkin in my life. So there you go. And I'm I'm not a pumpkin grower. When you were growing these items, you know, the first thing when I hear that the title growing hope, globally and stuff are is the food itself. Tell us a little bit about what you do with all the things that you grow? Because it's not necessarily that that food is going directly to somebody who needs it, but rather, some money that you raised from selling that would that be correct?
That's correct. Growing up globally, was originally Foods Resource Bank. They changed the name of a couple years ago, was started in 1999 by some people that were concerned about global hunger. And their first few years, they actually did try to ship. They had farmers grow corn donate corn, and they tried to ship that grain to countries overseas. It didn't turn out very well. It took a long time cost a lot of money to ship grain for one thing. By the time the grain got there. Some of it had rotted, so it couldn't give it to the people. So they've kind of switched gears and went to growing crops in this country and selling those crops and then using that money to fund overseas development projects. So so that's what we do. We read So locally, our local growing project in the Conrad area is amazing grace is the name of our growing project. There's about 130 growing projects in the United States and 21 states. So we are one of those growing projects. So we grow the vegetables, pumpkins Arland shipper and Marla shipper northa Conrad also raised about two acres of sweet corn. So and we sell that sweet corn. And that is also part of our fundraiser so so we use that money.
And so it's so we locally get to benefit from the the wonderful things that you're growing. But then it's it's good to know that that those funds are going farther, to help other people. And I think that there's in this season of, of giving, that it is so important for people to understand that it's important to help other people and not just put presents under the tree for ourselves that there are so many people that have more needs than what we have. And one of the fun things we did this fall with you I just have to tell people is that you you raise some pretty good sized pumpkins. So during our anniversary contest we even had a our anniversary we had a contest for to see how much a one of the pumpkins weighed. And that was a certainly a fun part. And it was 110 pounds, it was a doozy of a pumpkin. So you obviously have a little bit of a green thumb. Yes. Well, we're gonna take a quick commercial break, and we'll be back right after this. Welcome back to create with Heidi, this is Heidi Kaisand, from hen and chicks studio in Conrad. And yes, we do typically focus on quilting and all the things that we can make, we can say and grow from fabric. But today our guests are Don and Jane linen Brank. And they are from the Beeman area but participate in in a in a larger group called Growing hope globally, where they grow all sorts of wonderful things, including pumpkins and sweet corn and things that we can enjoy here with the funds that then go further to help other people. One of the things, Jane that I read in, in learning more about this program is that the money doesn't just go it doesn't just go and buy something for somebody else overseas. But in in, I don't know, what's the word, I'm looking for it but instead you help train them or educate them so that they can be more self sustaining. Is that correct? That's correct.
That's correct. The money is is helpful in? Well, we find projects that where people need assistance people, you know, with very low incomes. And most of the time, we will jump on board with another agency that is helping people such as some examples. Mennonites,
yeah. Tonight when we we took a trip to Guatemala in 2013. In that area, the Mennonite Central Committee, which is part of the Mennonite Church was working in that area, they had started working in that area, I think, in 2006, after hurricane destroyed quite a bit down there. So they were on the ground down there. Going hope globally does not have people overseas that implement these projects, they partner with implementing partners, with most of them, our churches, our relief agencies that have people on the ground know that people have relationships with the people there know what the people need, know what resources they have.
And the people are very, into their consulted, intimately. I mean, there, it's not just we go with the experts, and we tell you what to do. They sit down, and the people say what they need, yeah, and
really great. And that must help them with I'll say long term results of being able to sustain or to improve their lives or to improve their eating or their growing or whatever, because it's, it's one of those, I always I like organizations like that, that, that rather than just clothed them, they teach them how to, you know, make the case I don't know how to, instead of just giving them a pumpkin, they're teaching them how to grow their own pumpkin so that that they can can benefit from
that and these projects are not forever. They're, you know, 345 years, and the people are expected to, to learn to grow to become self sustaining. They're growing hoped in exits and they train their neighbors then you know, Blossom.
As example, one area one village we visited in 2013. They had plentiful supply of fresh water. They're up in the mountains had a lot of fresh water. But they're also children room 50% of the children were malnourished and low protein. So they decided the best way to do these people to get more protein was to raise trout. So they built a trout hatchery. And they formed a cooperative much like a co op in in that we can relate to here in central Iowa, you know, like farm Co Op, Farmer cooperative members bought shares, they built a hatchery because the hatching the little fingerlings trout is very, very intense, and I hired some person just to manage that. And then the people that were members of the Co Op, that gave them the right to purchase fingerlings to take back home and raising their farm ponds. So they had the different houses just down the hill, the water would just flow from one pond to the next down the hill, because the trout need fresh water. So they raised the trout, they could butcher the trout for to add protein to their diet. And then also the excess, they were close to Mexico, Mexico markets in Mexico, they could sell the excess trout in Mexico to raise funds to fund sending their kids to school, pay medical expenses, and feed and clothe their families. And just
think about all of that came from understanding what was in that area, you couldn't go into a place that didn't have that kind of water supply, right. And to do that, and so when you're talking about the fact that they go in and listen to the needs of that community, and to understand that I think that is is so important. Again, to help them be sustainable, I like that word. Because, again, it doesn't fix the problem. If you just go in and take a cow and say here, here's your protein, you know, but if they don't have grass, if they don't have something to feed that cow, but look, they took that water and turned it into something that is very good. I think that's
going to say, well, this is how we do in America. So this is what you should do it. That doesn't work because they got to work with the resources that people have. Now, their village did not have water, but they were close to flower markets in Mexico. So they built a lot of greenhouses and raised a lot of flowers. And then as they sell those flowers in the market in Mexico, and then get shipped up here in the United States, I'm sure
Yeah, well, isn't that it's so interesting. And Jane is an avid quilter. And what we see Jane a lot at hen and chick studio, thank you for being a good customer. But I think that we could relate to that in that not all quilts are created equal. Not all you know, not every person appreciates the same quilt for different reasons or wants the same quilt and you make one quilt for a grandchild different than you make it for somebody who might, you know, be fighting cancer or you know, I mean, there's, there's those different things. Again, not all quilts are created equal, not all projects are created equal. And so that's just that's exciting to hear. So is growing hope globally, truly a US wide group or is it an Iowa based group? I don't know enough about growing globally. Tell me a little bit more about it. You said it was originally had a different name. But is it or is it a lot of Iowa participants or does it go farther than that?
It's it's United States. There's like I said there's about a bout 130 different growing projects in 21 states most of them are a lot of them are in the Midwest, Upper Midwest, and then also out on the West Coast, California, Oregon, Washington and then on the East Coast. And I think there's one in Florida so so it's mostly upper Midwest and east west to the coast. So
so when you were when you were saying that, would you call it the amazing No,
our our local project is amazing grace growing project.
Okay, so is that almost like I'm gonna say like a chapter like a smaller subdivision? Would that be a way of saying it? Okay, so
we are we are one of those approximately 130 growing projects. And our amazing ghost project is community wide in the Conrad area. We have several churches involved and unlike the United Methodist Church and Conrad, I have Esther Church of the Brethren Alice, TELUS Church of God, real church, Bethel Grove, and then also First Presbyterian Church in in Conrad so Oh, so yeah, so we have great support from all those churches and from the community. And one of the things that we uses the fundraisers every summer in August, late, late August. We have a community wide sweetcorn picnic. That's a fundraiser. And then also we just get a lot of support from the community, the churches, so the separate churches will do different fundraisers to the year and donate money to this amazing grace projects, which we then forward to growing hold globally. Sure.
And and I've never been to the sweetcorn because it's always been on a weekend that I haven't been able to be available for some reason, but I think I'm gonna have to rearrange my schedule next year, so I can get to that. Well, it's so
great. We have great community support there in the Conrad area.
That's awesome. Well, we're gonna take a quick commercial break, and we'll be back right after this. Welcome back to create with Heidi, this is Heidi Kaisand. And I'm talking today with Jane and Donlin and brink from growing hope, globally. And we're learning a lot about what what the program does how you obviously have a large following in the Conrad area. Tell me, how does somebody get involved? Do I have to have a garden? Do I have to have a green thumb? If I'm you know, what are ways? I mean, obviously, I do have a checkbook, and I've bought pumpkins before. But how do people get involved with growing hope globally?
Well, there are many different ways to become involved. We've had historically, some really fun times with youth. A, one of our members decided that you know what, we haven't involved our youth enough. And that's how our little garden plot started, that the Stephens family has so generously let us use donhead. It was, I think, one of my favorite stories he introduced to his Sunday school class, I think we should have a garden, what do you guys think? And at that time, there was a garden plot, our garden plot was not at its current place, but it was on the north edge of town, the Sunday school class walked up to the garden plot. And they were looking around, and Don said, one, one of the youth took a stick, stuck in in the ground and said, Here's my plot. And it just grew after that. And
he was excited to be part of that.
It was really, really cool.
I love that story. And, you know, getting youth involved, too, I think, in, in today's world, we have, we're so fortunate to have so many things accessible to us, we could be talking about Internet, or we could be talking about devices that the kids have, or access to good education. I mean, just things that that we don't, that we take for granted, but we just, it's part of our everyday culture, our everyday happenings, that I always, at least with my children, try to make them aware that to remind them not to not that we can't be enjoy some luxuries, and things that we have, but also to remember that that others do not have what we have. And it's important for us to give to them as well and to help them in whatever way we can. And so I love seeing youth and I'm sure it's always interesting to to get those youth involved with some of you who are more I want to say experienced, and I was trying to find with growing because I'm sure that what you can teach somebody about growing and what the soil is like and what you know, and how you have to water it or what happens you can't just put a seed in the dirt and hope that it's going to grow and that that those kids are going to benefit from those kinds of interactions with other members of your of your group as well.
I've got a funny story to tell on that one. We had the kids planning one day and we planted potatoes, potatoes, you dig a trench you put the seed in your cupboard and then we've set out broccoli sets. And so I showed them how to get them started on doing that, you know dig a hole but the seedling and and then you know cover it up and and I went and did something else and then the girl that was doing it but what come on they were doing said well, we got the broccoli all planted and I had to take off so I went over there and I couldn't find them. They had covered them totally up just like the potatoes. Lack of knowledge. I didn't explain it well enough, I guess so. But that was kind of a funny story.
And, you know, and and Don how, you know, how do they know? How would they know? I mean, I don't I think there's so many of those kinds of things that that we as we go to the where, where do you find your broccoli? You go to the grocery store and you find it in the vegetable aisle. And, you know, there are a lot of programs out there of, of, you know, how does, how does your hamburger get to your, you know, play all that kind of stuff. And I, I love that, again, getting their hands dirty and learning the hard way sometimes by making those mistakes is important to know. And that's stuff that's happening here, even though the intended end result is to help others other places. Yeah, well, it is. Absolutely, there's so many different different aspects of this program that are good. And I'm always glad to be able to buy pumpkins from you each year to decorate, it's a small token of that I can part of it that I can participate in. Tell me again, obviously, anybody can participate. So if they let's just say that somebody that's listening in, obviously in the Marshalltown area says, hey, I want to participate. Physically, they want to come and help who would they contact?
Well, first, they want to find out more information on growing hope globally, they could go online, it's growing hope globally.org If they just want to it's kind of kind of a general overview of the growing cope and and what they do in the local area. If you'd like to help out. I guess you could contact First Presbyterian Church and Okay, Conrad, or you could even call me.
If anybody is not sure, they can always go ahead and check studio and I'll make sure they get your information and be able to reach you personally so that you could get help. Well, both of you our time has gone very fast. But I appreciate you coming in and sharing this I think again in as we approach Christmas this week, that it is so important to, again, take those gifts that we've been given and to use them to the best of our abilities. So I hope that everybody will come to hen and chick studio, or visit us online to learn about everything you need to know about quilting. And if you need to know about how to grow things, contact me and I'll put you in touch with Don and until next week. Be creative