Do you have a garden or piece of land that?
- Takes too much time to cultivate.
- Yields more food than you can eat.
- Lies fallow because you just don’t know how to grow food.
- Ends up neglected and clogged with weeds.
Why not share the work with others in exchange for:
- A share of the weekly produce yield.
- To sell at the local farmers market.
- To preserve for the winter months.
- To donate to your local food bank or soup kitchen.
I was fortunate to inherit a plot of organic garden when I moved into my home five years ago. That first summer I had no choice but to let the weeds run wild, but ever since I have worked that plot for yields of food I did not think possible. Because I could not always do the work myself, I would invite friends or students to share the bounty in exchange for planting and weeding help. All went well until this summer, when due to rain, back bending heat, and weeds growing faster than I could pull them up, the garden was left to fend for itself.
Then yesterday, the sun shone through the clouds, and in the cool of the morning I waded through the overgrowth to find that not all was inedible weeds. I was able to harvest enough tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, cabbage, eggplant and herbs to fill two large boxes. Now what? There was no way I could eat all that produce and being too busy to preserve it all I made a call to the New Jersey Food Bank. Within a few minutes I was in touch with a local church and on my way to deliver the fresh produce for their soup kitchen.
As more and more people lose their jobs they must budget for cheap, processed food just to feed their families. Why not create a garden sharing movement in towns and cities throughout America? What a wonderful way to bring community members together through the simple process of sharing food. It could even create jobs for those who see an opportunity in harvesting the earth’s organic abundance and turning it to income. Going a step further, there are community colleges and vocational schools with commercial kitchens that are available to lease for a small fee or free to community members. In this space gardeners can bring their produce and together preserve their share of food or create salable items to sell at the farmers market.
Rather than focus on what we are losing in our lives, let us all look to the abundance we already have. By sharing our creative intelligence we can create communities that support each member, especially in difficult and trying times. In yoga we call this Karma yoga, which leads to spiritual unity through selfless action. Rather than think only of your self, consider the interconnection of all life, and practice selfless giving. If you have already opened your garden to others please pass this article forward so others may be enlightened.