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Sometimes you see something, work with something, enjoy something, and still don’t see the diamond in your midst. Distancing can change that. The intellect provides distance, sparks memory and moves the heart.
We have been working on a grant for the garden. It is specific, and logical. It is not looking for stories or photographers, but its dryness reminds us. You want to say,
“The first garden was started by Agar. At that time, there was no soil and no money for soil. The land that was bulldozed for the garden was just rock and clay. Agar stole (borrowed permanently) a wheelbarrow from construction, which was used to transport the soil that was beaten out of tree stumps that had been bulldozed further down the road.
The first garden was a large circle (about 5 feet in diameter). In time there were nine of circles of cucumber and squash for the first course held at the Centre.
Today, we have a five-acre garden and orchard, certified organic. Each year the size increases, but the personnel remain the same. To offset this, Guruji instructed everyone on the seva team, to select a plot and be responsible for it. As volunteers we multi-task, but this was an additional task. To the mind it felt like a lot, but people came to love their time in the garden. It is quiet, and like the soil nurtures plants it also nourishes people, and there were no phones, questions, computers, and we were eating the food we helped care for.
This idea of nurturing and nourishing in an area that supports Agri-tourism is powerful, for it means the garden can provide food, income, and become an educational hub for people to learn about the benefits of organic farming, local edible plants, herbs, fruits, and companion planting. The garden extends to the kitchen where people can learn about vegetarian cuisine.
We see this happening in small ways already, through group tours, local groups who come to help, families with children, YES! Camp youth who have their first garden experience, and people who wander in to take a look or make a purchase.
So next time you visit ask how the orchard got started, or how Guruji got Pierre out of the garden and back to teaching, or about what happens to the animals who like to munch on our garden, and how we lure them to new localities.
Each place is a story growing more stories, and the garden has a future unfolding that we are just beginning to identify. Come join our Internship program or volunteer. Come create stories.