September is the time of year when the garden is winding down. We look at what has
worked well—what vegetables have thrived (radishes!) and what haven’t (broccoli—no heads!), what we might do differently next year (concentrate on food that can be eaten raw; forget about strawberry plants that mysteriously disappear). The unstoppable garden progression from early spring to late fall keeps us busy, but now there is time for reflection. And how does our garden fit in with a bigger picture?
Garden care brings us to Creation Care. No matter what name we give the Divine, creation stories tell us how our world came to be and how we are perceived as caretakers. At the RAICA Tree Planting Walk in September 2019, we were reminded of our responsibility to care for the Earth by local Islamic, Christian, Jewish and other leaders.
The natural world we care for includes each other. Here in Rochester as well as all over the world, there is a pressing need for equity in human opportunity as well as access to safe, healthful places in which to live and work. The transition from carbon-based to sustainable power represents a massive series of changes and a chance to get it right, ensuring that those most affected by climate change do not get left out of climate solutions.
And as we garden, we keep learning practices that promote sustainability. Food choices matter, and a home-grown plant-based diet is ideal. Composting keeps carbon in the ground and avoids use of unnatural fertilizers. You can’t help but notice (or miss) the
pollinators, and you can’t help but notice (or miss) the marginalized among us. And when your soul feels smothered by the weight of overwhelming problems, there is nothing like a morning outdoors planting, watering, weeding, harvesting and sharing beauty and food.
Join a Celebration of Urban Gardens Saturday, September 17, 10-3.