Back to Eden – the garden as our first profession
Some of the vital issues facing agriculture today include soil preparation, fertilization, irrigation, weed control, pest control, crop rotation, and PH issues. None of these issues exist in the unaltered state of nature or in Back To Eden gardens and orchards. This is a classic example of basic Permaculture. At the end of this article is a film length video and is well worth the watch. WATCH IT. Prepare to be inspired with its simplicity, and the Christian message of it all.
Should My Parish Do It?
Yes! There is literally no reason not to offer your parish, neighborhood and community a place to learn and see Permaculture food production in action.
First, some commitment – it will require getting your hands dirty, but the difference between Permaculture and everything else is that the hard work is done up front. As time goes on, and the Permaculture system matures, it takes less and less work to get more and more yield.
Second, it provides functional education for young and old alike. Growing your own food is a life skill. Our schools don’t teach it. Very few embrace it. It’s a sign of the times, I think, and it is high time that we return to knowing where our food comes from and how it is grown. How is this a bad idea?
Finally, you’re not going to be the first. A friend of mine, Val Finelli, a member of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in McKees Rocks, PA has begun an initiative called Pittsburgh Community Capital, with the purpose of bringing healthy food to urban inhabitants in Pittsburgh utilizing abandoned lots and property throughout the city. I suggest you support them in some useful way, and get started yourself! It doesn’t matter who is doing what. What matters is what you can do where you are with what you have. You can do it.
I was told early on in my spiritual life that you can tell the spiritual condition of the monastery just by looking at the garden. What about the local parish? Is it not possible that a lush, productive system benefiting parish and neighborhood alike would not attract admirers, visitors, inquirers or at least curious souls interested in learning more about how to do it? Does anyone not benefit from it?
Small Parish Permaculture begins at your back door
Previous generations made sure their children could speak their native tongue, and set up classes at Church to assure that the language of that experience was understood, so that they would remain connected with their home. Any Church in any location can do the same.
Our schools no longer teach many practical, useful skills. This is a giant gap in educational learning. Should not every child, of any age, learn to grow food, build soil, care for animals? What downside is there to that education?
We can step into the gap, and reconnect ourselves and others with the land, and our own survival. The day is coming when unless someone is growing food, they will not likely be eating food.
Now, it will take you out of your comfort zone, but that is where life begins anyway. Enjoy the video.
How can this do anything tangible for our Church? Is there any benefit directly for our parish?