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Sustainable Traditions

Creating a Faith-based Community Garden

This article by Christine Sine reflects on the spiritual value of a congregational garden. Among the quotable quotes in the piece is this one from Edythe Neumann of British Columbia:

The act of gardening can teach us something about ourselves, about our interdependence with the world of nature, about the relationships between work and creativity, and about how we might begin to discern those spiritual facts that elude us in other aspects of life.  Gardening can also be an expression of community and conversation – another way to say that God is with us on the earth, a way to picture God’s presence with us – through the gifts of nature and gardening together.

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A website and book by Doug Tallamy

Bringing Nature Home

Many good resources on native plantings exist these days, but Doug Tallamy is particularly good at explaining why it is important to plant native species. As an entomologist, he understands how critical insects are to the food chain and how limited insects are in what plants they can eat.

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A Permaculture Perspective


Is your congregation thinking of starting a community garden or in need of new vision for the one you have? If you have heard of permaculture but are not sure what it is, here is a 1.5-hour documentary that can help you think about agriculture in a new way. The online blurb says, “Permaculture is a design lens that uses the principles found in ecosystems to help shift our impact from destructive to regenerative. Focused mostly on the Northeastern and Midwestern regions of the United States, Inhabit provides an intimate look at permaculture peoples and practices ranging from rural, suburban, and urban landscapes.”  Watch the trailer or buy the film.

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