One of the greatest gardening blessings is that IF you dig around, you can ALWAYS uncover a story of how God works goodness through His Creation. Yesterday I was introduced to the Minneapolis based Smart Snack Pop-Up Garden Project. Even though it’s not a church ministry, if you believe that all good things come from God and God is visible in His Creation, then God’s goodness was definitely apparent. The story goes like this:
Through a team of adult leaders and urban teens, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (MLA) distributes three 4′ grow bag gardens (see photo) to 20 locations visited by at-risk populations throughout Minneapolis. At each location two of the bags are planted with cherry tomatoes and basil, and the third grow bag is planted with pollinator attracting plants such as Zinnia, Verbena bonariensis, and annual Milkweed.
The bags are made of a heavy porous fabric which encourages the growth of healthy fibrous root systems enabling the plants to maximize water and nutrient uptake in such a limited space. Translation: If filled with nutrient rich soil, these bags can be planted anywhere there is at least four feet of flat space, full sun, and transportable water. Presto – Gardens are now popping up all over Minneapolis in places they normally wouldn’t: impoverished neighborhoods, concrete jungles, rocky landscapes, and incredibly small spaces…..places plants would normally never survive. Genius.
Additionally, the urban teens tending these pop-up gardens are developing horticulture, leadership, communication, and time management skills. I spoke to one of the urban teens working in these gardens, and she gushed about how the opportunities for engagement and learning have changed her life. She now hopes to pursue a degree in agriculture. She is also incredibly proud to be part of a project that introduces nutritious food to at-risk populations in a creative way. There is a lot of goodness packed into this project. Anyone who is a part of this project should be very proud….they are doing an outstanding job.
The blessing here is that God reveals himself and bestows life-changing goodness through His Creation in a hundred different ways….but I admit to a nagging concern that God wasn’t directly addressed. However, I have faith that there ARE a number of urban garden projects underway where God IS directly addressed. If you know of a ministry project that uses gardening to reach at-risk urban populations, will you share about your project in the comments section below? I would love for my comment section to be filled with the knowledge of God’s goodness in this area.
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