Green Sanctuary News

Tree of Hope

At our recent Earth Day 2022 service, participants posted “leaves” with their pledges to act to lower their impact on the environment.

May 2022 Green Sanctuary Newsletter Article

Spring is probably the time most of us feel renewed hope for the world or at least for our lives in the present. I love to see my garlic shoots coming up, since they are planted in October. I also love to see all the spring bulbs and native perennials shooting up from the long-dormant earth. Then come the first leaf and flower buds on shrubs and trees. We bask in the sun’s warmth on the early spring days.

Some early vegetable gardeners get their peas and spinach in at the first possible moment, but most of us start our gardens as soon as we get some warm enough weather and start working the soil. Learning more about regenerative agriculture, I am trying to disturb the soil of established beds as little as possible, loosening it with a garden fork, adding some compost and a little organic fertilizer, gently working it in, watering and adding seedlings or a row of seeds carefully, covering with the appropriate amount of soil. Sometimes we struggle with removing weeds, like the mugwort that seems to be taking over parts of my community garden plot at MCC. Like bittersweet, any root parts left over when pulling it out can reproduce.

Gardening can be hard work and is not always successful, but it does teach us a lot about resilience, humility and gratitude for those who do grow and handle so much of the food we eat. Food prices are climbing and that’s really hard on those living on limited incomes, even harder on millions of poor people around the world, whose daily bread prices are climbing above their ability to pay. A lot of this is due to the war in Ukraine, where most grain for many poor nations has been coming from.

On top of this the climate crisis is also affecting food sources for people all around the world. Factory farming and industrial agriculture are experiencing damage from the climate crisis while greatly adding to it. But great hope can be found in regenerative agricultural methods, which rebuild depleted soils and absorb huge amounts of carbon directly from the atmosphere. If you want to feel some rising hope, I recommend watching the documentary “Kiss the Ground,” which can be found on Netflix. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian or a meat eater, you will find this film uplifting and eye-opening. Then take your own action by planting some food plants and native pollinators and deciding to buy much of your food from local growers who take good care of the soil and grow the food organically or naturally.

In our UUS:E Peas and Love garden we will be planting more pollinator flowers as well as some food crops. The herb section has a great many herbs which you are welcome to cut and use throughout the season. And come out to help care for our lovely UUS:E grounds on April 30 from 9-12.

The Green Sanctuary article is written by various members of the Sustainable Living Committee. SLC meets on second Tuesdays at 7:00 PM via Zoom for now. Our next meeting is May 10. New members are welcome and can get the Zoom link by contacting Mary Lawrence at [email protected]