March: A Time to Plant and A Time to Reap

New Garden Chug Digs In

By Cheryl Kollin

Spring is in the air with these mild days of February. The snow drops are in bloom and the daffodils are not far behind. In our Mishnah garden all is quiet right now. Only the winter wheat with its lush grass-like foliage springs to life, adding nitrogen to the soil over the winter. But soon the garden will be bustling with activity as we plant our first spring snow peas and onions and harvest horseradish for Pesach later this month.

Whether you are a gardening maven, novice, or newbee—all are welcome to join Adat Shalom’s new Garden Chug. Our motto is, “We do and teach and teach by doing”. The Garden Chug is a hands-on experience for anyone who wants to touch the soil, learn how to garden and share their knowledge with others of all ages and abilities. This is a wonderful intergenerational activity.

Harvesting Horseradish for Pesach

 Our Chug will help you learn how to start your own garden at home, help with the Mishnah Garden, and trade gardening knowledge, swap tools, seeds, and plants. Our Chug also composts, transforms grass into productive, bountiful food and explores how to cook what we grow. We also put Tikkun Olam into action by contributing some of what we grow to Manna and other organizations.

Our Garden Chug has a full calendar of activities planned for the coming year. Come plant our first spring crop on March 17th after the Oneg. Our spring work day is Sunday, March 18th—help us mulch for pro-active weed control. On March 31st the Garden Chug will participate in Adat Shalom’s Shabbat Breirot–alternative ways to observe Shabbat in addition to our traditional service. The Garden Chug will offer some Jewish learning about our agrarian roots, time to garden, and harvest horseradish in time for Pesach.

Planting seeds

Looking ahead to other spring Adat Shalom activities, the Chug will celebrate Derekh Ha’etz–the new nature trail preceding the annual meeting on May 20th.  We will celebrate garden stations along the trail, connecting each station to a book of the Torah.  The Mishnah Garden will represent the Book of Exodus where our oldest experiences were agricultural and our oldest laws including peah and leket prescribe how we grow food.The Garden Chug welcomes our organizers: Fred Pinkney (garden maven), Jackie Glass (harvest host coordinator), Frank Lipson (communications), and Elise Caplan(Manna deliveries).

The Garden will only flourish with many hands. We seek others interested in growing our gardening and food experience among our Adat Shalom community. Please contact Cheryl Kollin (garden coordinator) about specific ways you can dig into the Garden Chug.


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