A former rector of my church, many years ago, had a vision of ripping up the manicured lawn on the church campus and planting a garden to provide fresh produce for a local food pantry that serves the poor of our community. This garden came to be and has been an on-going venture for many years. The rector went on to other endeavors and left the garden in the hands of the congregation.
This morning I joined the group that tends the garden. I am an amateur: I know nothing more about gardening except that you need good light, healthy soil, the right amount of water and a lot of energy. The garden manager, who (in her own words) has “a passion for the earth”, is patient and eager to teach individuals like me. What I learn, I plan to implement in my own garden.
So I had my first lesson today: using a natural homemade concoction made of habanero peppers to keep unwanted critters away from the baby plants. For nearly two hours I spritzed and sprayed all manner of vegetable seedlings with red pepper pest deterrent. Other volunteers were working on harvesting seeds for future planting while others were spreading compost, weeding and watering. It was truly a community effort. Another marvel was the diversity of the group. Women, men, and children of all shades and hues were working together in harmony to heal the planet and help the poor.
You can’t do church any better than that in my opinion.