Gardens that feed communities with more than food…

“Dragon” by: Burton Street Community Peace Garden

We’ve been reminded this week about the benefits of art in the garden.

Anyone who’s tended a garden or escaped into one for any reason, knows what a refuge they can be for just “being.”  You might remember we wrote back in June about balancing our sound diet. And, we talked then about the importance of gardening being spiritually nutritious.

We spend so much time getting food and garden projects together for the people we serve, and every time we see our clients in the garden, we know more than food is growing.

Ray Isaac by: Urban Ministry Community Garden

The gardens we’ve been so attracted to, not only have some of the most amazing, peaceful or spiritual names — Big Daddy’s Complete Rejuvenating Community Garden, Burton Street Community Peace Garden, Urban Ministry Community Garden — but they also have art as a common denominator.  Add to that painted stones at the Wrigley Village Community Garden, shown to us by our friend Adriana of Anarchy in the Garden, where art is beautiful and educational.

So, we’re going to require that every community garden established for our clients include an art element. At one public housing development site, we’re going to help each season’s “graduating” class create a class project to leave at the site.  Already, we’ve got ideas for scarecrows and mosaics.  (I’m partial to the painted stones…so simple and perfect.)

Vickie Jo Sowell at Big Daddy's Complete Rejuvenating Community Garden by: Mike Kepka, The SF Chronicle

Our Master Gardener is also compiling a book for each class – a yearbook, if you will – that can be decorated and installed at the site.  Our friend Jill even got us thinking about how a labyrinth with edible plants would be the perfect blend of food, art and meditation!  And, what about benches and bottles and sun catchers and chimes and …

Let’s get fed in our gardens!

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