It’s definitely winter! While Punxsutawney Phil is resting in his underground house for another six weeks, Cindy and I warmly welcome the seed catalogs that arrive in our mailbox. As we scroll through the pictures and dream of the garden, we divert our attention from the piles of snow, the short days and the cool toes and fingers, and dream of delicious vegetables and colorful flowers dancing through our heads!
The other day Cindy started ordering seeds for this spring. Yay spring! She was looking for pea seeds and a specific green bean. Your favorite suppliers of both types were sold out. Too bad.
So we searched the catalogs, went online and unfortunately found them! Thank god for the seeds! And thank God that He has given us humans the privilege and responsibility for God’s entire garden – the earth. (Read Genesis 1-2.)
I don’t know about you, but I love gardening. Well most of it. The best part of the gardens in my opinion is the crap. Some people have suggested that I like crap because I’ve spent so many years as a minister shoveling it! The smell of good, rich earth makes my mouth water.
We are also aware of the scary things that are happening to our earth. So we want to do everything we can to reduce carbon formation in the atmosphere. In a way, there is little that each of us can do, but when many of us do our best, it makes a huge difference.
Climate Advocates Bennington works hard to guide us. Last month we all read Owen Wormser’s book Lawns into Meadows. Mr Wormser (I love his name!) Is a very convincing argument for turning at least part of our lawns into wildflower meadows. No chemical fertilizers or pesticides, more carbon stored in the soil and no air pollution.
Mr Wormser makes the shocking point that driving a lawnmower for an hour adds as much carbon to the atmosphere as driving a 2017 Toyota Corolla 300 miles. We spend two hours every week mowing our lawn, which is the carbon of driving 600 miles! Holy cow!
So let’s take the plunge. The meadow will also be a food bank for pollinators like honey bees, good insects and songbirds, all of which have been decimated by the use of pesticides around the world. Imagine Bennington living with wildflowers that bring beauty, color and songbirds everywhere!
So many problems in our community and world feel immensely difficult to control. It’s exciting to have a way that little people like us can take on the roles God created us to grow and care for the earth. We are NOT powerless and can share the excitement of God’s growing plans right in our own garden!
Cindy and I are also excited about a radically different way of growing our gardens, one that can multiply its ability to store carbon by more than four hundred percent. I’ll tell you about this discovery next month! In the meantime, you could read about it in Gabe Brown’s book “Dirt to Soil”. This title and the book by Owen Wormser are both available in the Bennington Bookshop.
Marsh Hudson-Knapp is a member of the Greater Bennington Interfaith Council and welcomes your feedback or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. He wrote two books and hosted a website on biblical gardens around the globe.