Gardening today is becoming  one of the most innovative areas of Tikkun Olam, healing and repairing the world. Community Gardens and sharing of garden harvests help the environment and feed the hungry while fostering community.

KAM Isaiah Israel Farm

Community Gardens are springing up across America, including at synagogues and other faith communities. KAM Isaiah Israel, my sister’s congregation in Chicago, is probably the most noteworthy. Their urban farm in the Hyde Park area donates thousands of pounds of fresh produce to people in need every year from June through October. Read all about them here and here

Near my own home in Westchester, New York, there is a community garden at a local church that donates fresh vegetables to a food pantry, and an organic farm at CSI, a local synagogue that even runs its own Farmer’s Market as well as donating to a food bank. (Check out their photo Gallery in this Gateway.)

Listening to some recent TED Radio Hour podcasts, I learned about some truly amazing community gardening stories, from “gangsta gardener” Ron Finleywho turned his South Central LA yard into a free food garden providing health, inspiration and hope to his community., to the “incredible, edible” North England town of Todmorden, covered in edible gardens shared by all! Their motto: “If you eat you’re in.”

Consider and Comment: Have you ever participated in a community garden or considered sharing your garden with the community? Does your synagogue have space for a garden or even a small scale organic farm, or do you already have one? I would love to hear your story!

Featured Image: Marymoor Park Community Garden, Redmond, Washington, from “King County Parks Your Big Backyard, via Flickr

Learn about the renewal of the Jewish Sabbatical Year for the earth (shemitah), or return to the Gateway of Gardens.

Follow Wellsprings in Social Media