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Bahá’u’lláh said that “Special regard must be paid to agriculture”1 and that, among all important matters, agriculture “precedeth the others.”1 And ‘Abdu’l-Bahá explains the importance of agriculture for the community: “The fundamental basis of the community is agriculture, tillage of the soil. All must be producers.”2
by Christine Muller
So, how can we become a producer? Some people may be lucky to have a garden, but the majority of people live in a city these days. So, here are some ideas: Perhaps there is space for plant containers around your apartment building, or you could grow some herbs in pots on your balcony. How about growing some herbs from your cultural background that may not be available in the grocery store, or just your favorite ones that you use much in your kitchen such as dill, chives, parsley, cilantro/coriander, and basil? Lavender is wonderful for its fragrance and flowers. Some people even plant container tomatoes or peppers on their balconies!
In the above quote, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá emphasizes the role of agriculture as “the fundamental basis of the community.” Are there possibilities in your Bahá’í community for a community garden, or could you participate in an existing garden in your town?
Could a community garden become the “fundamental basis” of your community-building efforts?
What are some of the benefits of growing food plants?
– It is healthy to eat fresh and a wide diversity of food.
– In cities, it is sometimes difficult to find fresh vegetables.
– Food prices are rising and there are real concerns about global food insecurity.
– Working with soil and caring for plants is good for the soul.
– It is essential for the education of children that they can help with taking care of plants and see where their food is coming from.
– A community garden, even if it is small, is a great way to build friendships and community.
– You can provide food for our seriously endangered pollinators. All herbs will flower, and, of course, you can also grow some flowers, especially wildflowers to help preserve biodiversity.
2 ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 217