Newsletter

Building Community with a Garden

Mar 26, 2021

The country is the world of the soul, the city is the world of bodies.”

Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era, p. 36

by Christine Muller

Gardening is a profoundly meaningful activity for many reasons. However, not everyone has a yard or a balcony, and some don’t have the time or physical strength for the season-long commitment of a garden. Community gardens are a great way to grow food, even in a city! Community gardens can bring people of different ages and backgrounds together. With observing proper distancing, working in a garden can also provide a safe opportunity for direct social interaction and collaboration during a pandemic. The fresh herbs and vegetables can contribute to food security and human health and can make communities more resilient to economic hardship and supply-interruptions.

Gardening encourages good neighborhood relations, provides exercise, is educational for the children, and fun for everyone involved. It benefits the environment because you can avoid the application of harmful agricultural chemicals, and your plants provide much needed food for pollinators. Green Acre Baha’i School used to have a large and successful community garden several decades ago. All the food scraps at the school were composted and then used in the garden. Imagine the potential of this happening again – and in many places!

For more information about Community Gardening:
https://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/community-gardening
https://www.communitygarden.org/about

For general information about gardening:
https://www.almanac.com/vegetable-gardening-for-beginners

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Christine Muller, Piano Teacher

Board Secretary, International Environment Forum

I was interested in environmental issues already at a young age and became a Bahá’í when I was 17, which was the beginning of a life-long study of the Bahá’í Faith. As the environmental crisis was worsening, I began to systematically study climate change at a time when not much information was easily available. I also searched the Bahá’í teachings for a spiritual solution to the climate crisis. At that time, climate change was not known to most people and there were no educational materials available. That’s why I wrote Scientific and Spiritual Dimensions of Climate Change – an Interfaith Study Course, which the International Environment Forum posted in 2009. I joined the Wilmette Institute as support faculty for its Sustainable Development course in 2011 and created its Climate Change course the following year. I served on the board of RI Interfaith Power&Light for nine years and currently serve on the board of the Bahá’í-inspired International Environment Forum (iefworld.org). My academic background is in music and I enjoy part-time piano teaching and playing music. I would have done more in the area of music were it not for the urgency of climate action, but my musical training has helped me to better understand the complexity of the climate crisis. Christine’s articles on BahaiTeachings.orgSee Faculty Bio

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