Building Community through Gardening

Nature heals people!

When most people think of gardening, they almost automatically think of an elderly woman, in her backyard or front yard, growing a few food items for herself and her family. Yes, this does happen.

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But what most of us seem to forget, is that gardening can be done by all people, female or male, young or old, and can truly be the heart of a family, a community, even a Nation. I mean, don’t we all, regardless to ethnic background, financial situations, education level, and anything else that can be used as a tool to divide people, do we all not eat?

Are our basic means of living not simply food and water? When we look at gardening not as simply a pastime, but as a means of living, as being able to provide for self, and family, and even community, we can then begin to see the beauty and divinity in gardening, in community gardening that is.

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Nicole Maria, from Mexico, currently a student at Arizona State University, whom I met while at a Food Summit in Minnesota a few weeks ago, had this to say about community gardening, “Food brings people together. Before the industrial era hit us, we always ate together and cooked together. It was the heart of our lives. Community gardens re-establishes not only our relationship to our communities and each other, but to our Mother Earth.”

I have been awakened to the magnificence that community gardening brings. If we can look at community gardening as an all-inclusive activity that provides not only food for those involved and the community at large, but as an activity that truly forms unity, cultivates virtue, reconnects people to Nature, and provides an alternative to store- bought, frozen and mostly unhealthy non-fresh food, we can then begin to see the benefits of community gardening, or Urban farming.

Think about it, if children, or even adults for that matter, not only have the knowledge of where their food is coming from, but have a hand in the actual cultivation of their food, they are more likely to eat it, thus making our people healthier, and we know that health leads to happiness, so by simply gardening as a community, we create not only a healthier community, but also a happier community, and we can use logic to presume that if people are happier they will be more loving, thus we are talking about dissipating the wave of crime and its many ugly heads.

Also, with community gardening, we are talking about employing those in the community where community gardens are present. And I have learned that to build one basic garden, whether outdoors or a greenhouse, there are many skilled crafts that are accounted for, such as; an artist or architect to design the layout and floor plans, a carpenter to build the structure, electricians, plumbers, and a host of other skilled crafts, all depending on size, location and want for said garden.

So, if we can work to implement the idea of community gardening in impoverished communities, we are talking about employing people, again reconnecting them to their community and to Nature, thus on the path of immediately eradicating poverty and ending this scourge of murder and genocide people are committing against each other, ultimately on oneself.

But you see being in touch with the land, being part of the food growing process, eating natural whole foods, it does something to the Spirit that may not always be recognized or understood by people. If one works in the garden, they are being made aware of the oneness of Humanity and all things living and non-living, thus making them a more peaceful people, as well as giving them an inner standing of the concept of, “Everlasting Life”, thus healing them from their many pangs and neurosis that they may be experiencing at that time.

Nature heals people. Nature is the one true cure from which we can all benefit and be made stronger, regardless to age, condition, financial situation, or anything. Nature is always ready to help us, to provide us with whatever it is we may desire. And community gardening directly puts the community, or those whom so choose to be involved, in touch the Nature and our great Mother Earth.

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I believe community gardening is the tool by which to truly heal our world. Oh, and not to mention, when speaking about community gardening, we are speaking about resurrecting a craft taught and adored, held sacred, by our Ancient ancestors, so in reverting back to this basic means of survival and community, we are also making our Ancestors proud.

To top it all off, when we think about murder and those whose lives have been lost, here in America, in New York especially, we have this thing we do when our loved ones are murdered; we create makeshift memorials to remember our beloveds, usually in places that other people must occupy in some capacity, and most people who must occupy said spaces feel uncomfortable, so a disturbance and ill feelings are often stirred.

With community gardening we have a way to memorialize our loved ones making their life and their legacy eternal, in a myriad of ways. It is still so much deeper than this. So, again my dearly beloveds, Nature heals us and provides us with more than enough to be self-sustainable.   Let us return back to a state of Glory, paying home to our Great Mother Earth and allowing her to provide us with all we need to not only survive, but to thrive and live life at the highest level of excellence we can attain.

“Farming is the engine of a Nation. This is an excellent skill to possess for our survival and also necessary to build a Nation.” – Asher Muhammad.

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Lashawn “Suga Ray” Marston