My big project over the weekend, however, was to get seedlings planted for my plot in the Grace Garden. Cabbage, onions, kale, and peas are all in the ground, ready for this week's rains. Wednesday, I was tired and sore and sunburned, but it was so worth it.
What is the Grace Garden?
The Grace Garden is the community garden at my church. For $25, members join the garden, work in their plot 3-5 hours a week, and take home fresh, organic produce all summer. Each plot has a few families, with a plot leader giving direction to the members, and ultimately responsible for the plot's production. Really, the structure is more of a "working CSA" than a community garden, with a much lower cost than most CSAs (A sidenote: If you want to join a CSA in the Indianapolis area without all the work, my friend Lisa's farm has a fabulous one, with lots of interesting foods. Check it out.)
Why is a church running a garden and why should I be involved?
It's not something you normally hear about- a church with a food garden. Why bother? Here's a few reasons:
- God commands us to care for creation, and gardening is a spiritual discipline of sorts that goes along with this command. Those that practice it often find it meditative and therapeutic. For me, I've become much more aware of the created rhythm of the seasons and of God's design by gardening. It makes me slow down. It's good for our souls.
- Getting our produce from a local, organic source is another way we obey this Creation Care mandate. When less resources are used to grow and transport the food, and less chemicals are dumped on the soil, the creation is better cared-for. Getting produce from local, organic sources is also a way to love our neighbors who suffer from contaminated groundwater (from pesticides) and exploitation of labor (from the industrial food system). It's good for our neighbors far-away.
- A share of produce from each plot in the Grace Garden is headed to our local food pantry. Low income, food insecure populations are at higher risk for obesity, and good, healthy food is more expensive calorie-for-calorie than junk food. Providing produce at the food pantry will give healthy options to those who don't have access to good, healthy food. It's good for our neighbors nearby.
- Speaking of healthy food- $25 for a summer worth of vegetables? It's good for our body and our wallets.
If you're in the north Indy area and would like to join us, email me, or fill out this form for more information. We're still looking for more families to join! I'm looking forward to seeing what will be growing this summer!