This spring we thought it would be a good idea to plant a community garden at Westminster. One thing we are amply blessed with is space—wide lawns, a big outdoor labyrinth, lots of sun. So we talked about who might want to join us in the project, about inviting others from the neighborhood who might not have a patch of land for growing—residents of the apartments down the street, or folks who live at Elmcroft. As we talked, we had some insecurities about the idea—What if no one came? What if everyone came? Did we know enough and have enough hands for the labor of building a lot of garden spaces? We got kind of stuck in that phase, which is where a lot of good ideas go to retire.
But a happy serendipity came to pass when the leaders of the Boy Scout Troop we host ran into a church member and reminded her that scouts are always looking for service projects. One of the troop members who wanted to go for his Eagle Scout, Alex Hargrave, ended up working with us to build some handicap-accessible raised beds, and he did a fine job. He also helped us set up several straw bale gardens.
Still, it was a bit late in the season when we finally planted and so instead of making a big noise we decided to plant the spaces we had as a learning project which we can expand next year. We have some nice looking tomato plants, some promising okra, and some lovely zucchini just putting out slender babies. We also had a few losses. The shy deer we sometimes see peeking out from our labyrinth are apparently big cabbage and pepper fans. Well, we did say we would invite everyone. . .
We are going to plant some kale and other fall crops to replace our lost plants. And we are going to keep trying. Because the point of the garden is not so much to make a flawless harvest of food, but to be in touch with God’s good earth, to connect with nature and with one another, and to learn a bit about our environment here. So far, all that is growing nicely. The spiritual fruits that come from sowing seeds of patience and gratitude can’t fail.
If you have any gardening tips or spiritual questions, drop by. We are always in the growth business.