On Monday, we journeyed to Bartram’s Garden in West Philly to work with City Harvest at Sankofa Community Farm.
Our service-learning session was organized and led by Repair the World.
The PA Horticultural Society City Harvest program taps into the skills and energy of urban gardeners and entrepreneurial growers to make fresh, nutritious produce more widely available to neighbors in need.
The program is creating an infrastructure of agricultural supply and education centers, as well as expanding fresh food production, distribution, and consumption in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, thereby creating a healthier future for thousands of city residents.
First, Alex led us through a walk-thru of the outdoor space around us, asking us to listen to the sounds we heard and to experience the place.
He then connected gardening work and the natural world to expressions of faith traditions like Judaism and Christianity. He shared about this week marking the start of Purim for Jews, a time of costumes and the story of Esther and when many Jewish people reflect on the revelation of what is hidden–discovering new things that have always been there, even the discovery of the presence of Yahweh. Alex did a great job of also connecting the natural world and the experience of the seasons of winter and spring to the Christian season of Lent. He asked the students from Messiah to reflect on what Lent means to them. Then, we headed into the greenhouse to start prepping the seeds that City Harvest folks had planted in pots to germinate; now they had grown into small, green vegetable plants.
Great attitude and enthusiasm on the part of the students! Looking forward to a packed but amazing day 3!