It was Thursday a couple weeks ago. We were out in the Garden at Cultivate for harvest. We do this a couple times a week. We invite community members to come out and help us pick the ripe plants that we then donate to local food pantries. Sometimes I just look around the shop and see who I can recruit. This time I invited a couple kids who were on their iPads waiting for their dad to finish a meeting. I asked them if they wanted to learn how tomatoes were picked. They were more than interested and their dad agreed to let them participate.
The harvest was good an this particular day.
- We had tomatoes
- We had cucumbers
- We had beans
- We had zucchini
- We filled several bins
The kids loved it.
The thing we love is that we can harvest food at it’s best. The harvest was ripe - so we went to hope - located on the south side of Ypsilanti where there is a lack of fresh food and food security I love going to Hope because you get to see the people you are giving your food to. There’s a dignity in the presentation. They have little farmstand in the lobby. It's well lit and inviting. Often times, if you sit back, you can see the broad smiles on people’s faces as they find that perfect tomato. People seem to come alive. Katie, our garden coordinator talks about how much she loves to bring in the odd foods because she gets the opportunity to teach people about produce (i.e. garlic scapes).
It's amazing how much food our little corner of the earth is able to produce with just a little bit of care. The whole earth is really a gift of God. God gives good things and God gives them generously!
So often this neighborhood is forgotten. Many don’t know where their next meal is coming from. The limited food that is available is too often the scraps. They are people who live in the cracks and margins we too often ignore. Mary, the food coordinator, came up to us and said how much she appreciated our harvest deliveries. She often tells me that she sees our pictures online and hopes that that food is coming her way. But on this specific occasion, she told us that many people admire our produce and comment on how lovely it is and how great that it is going to the people that can least afford it.
Part of being a follower of Jesus is learning the nature of God's generosity. I am personally very inspired by the story of the wedding of Cana. The fact that the wine Jesus offered was a superb vintage touches me. God doesn't just meet our needs, he does so as a craftsman who cares about excellence. We can follow his example. How we give can be done as a craft. We can offer what is best. I am proud that this is what happens in this garden. We have grown a beautiful space that is the envy of the community in many ways, but then we give it away. I am so humbled by the ways that God cares for us with the earth and everything in it. One way to worship our God is to join him in his work of giving good things.