Blog: Musings on the earth, mindful living and our connections

Nothing is as Sure as Change

Posted by on May 30, 2018 in About In the Gardens, Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Volunteer Day | 0 comments

Nothing is as Sure as Change

Dear Friends, One thing that any gardener or farmer learns is that nothing is as sure as change. Moving from winter to spring and summer we can all imagine changes in temperature and landscape. When we are growing trees and plants for food, we notice the intensity of the sun or cloud cover each day, the small and wide variances in temperature, rain or no rain, soil quality, beneficial critters and harmful ones. All of these bring about changes that can often be seen from one day – or even one hour – to the next. Change is upon us at In the...

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Off the Beaten Path

Posted by on April 30, 2018 in About In the Gardens, Building Community, Caring for One Another, Growing Food, Social Justice | 2 comments

Off the Beaten Path

My work for In the Gardens reaches out to many communities – schools, townships, businesses, nonprofits, and also to congregations, straddling needs in both the secular and spiritual community. As such, I was invited to join Kenissa, an organization that celebrates and creates connections for Jewish innovators. This past March I participated in its Communities of Meaning Network 2018 National Consultation Cohort. The Kenissa Network identifies and convenes leaders of new organizations and communities and creates a capacity building...

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It’s Spring at In the Gardens!

Posted by on April 26, 2018 in Caring for the Earth, Feeding Each Other, Gardens, Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Volunteer Day | 0 comments

It’s Spring at In the Gardens!

Spring is springing! I don’t know about you, but I thought it would never arrive. We’ve been seeing parsley now for awhile, even pushing through the snow, but today its delicate frills have been joined by greening-up sage leaves, red-veined sorrel, onion spears, lots of green and red shoots on our rose bushes, oregano, and perhaps the most glorious just now: our apricot tree full of just-opening flowers. It’s a joy to see, touch, smell and taste the beginnings of this year’s growing season. And of course, that means it’s time for us to get...

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Mindfulness in the Garden

Posted by on March 26, 2018 in Caring for One Another, Gardens, Growing Food, Meditation, Mindfulness, Mindfulness Practice | 0 comments

Mindfulness in the Garden

This weekend I had the opportunity to lead a session at the 2018 Good Food EXPO, a conference for all things garden, farming and fresh food related. It was my fourth year at the conference. The first year I attended, I met a young man – a high school student – named Lucas Zeidner. We were in a breakout session together. It turned out that while he was looking for an internship, I was looking for an intern. A partnership was made, which not only took us through that season, but has maintained and grown into a friendship. Lucas is now in his...

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It’s in Our Yard: Confronting the Reality of Climate Change

Posted by on February 15, 2018 in Climate Change, Growing Food, Sustainability | 0 comments

It’s in Our Yard: Confronting the Reality of Climate Change

On Sunday, February 11, I had the honor of presenting at a “Climate Reality Presentation and Discussion,” held at Temple Israel in Gary, Indiana. The brunch was open to all members of the community, to learn about current issues of climate change and actions we can take. I learned a great deal from my co-presenter, Linc Cohen, who trained in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps to bring education about climate change to the broad community. Did you know that the warming of the oceans is where climate change is most obvious?...

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Bringing Forth Kindness: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Posted by on January 16, 2018 in Building Community, Caring for One Another, Equality, Kindness, Martin Luther King Jr. Day | 0 comments

Bringing Forth Kindness: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

I returned from a 10-day seminar in the wee hours of Monday morning. When I woke later that morning to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I saw volunteer opportunities listed on my phone – how to put King’s vision to work and make this world a place of greater love and kindness. Then on Tuesday morning, I was inspired to listen to Stevie Wonder. His early music was presented in the seminar I’d attended, and I wanted to start my day to his beat. I found a YouTube playlist, and clicked. Before long I was hearing the following words from “I’ll...

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Light in the Dark

Posted by on December 26, 2017 in Building Community, Caring for One Another, Giving Back, Mindfulness Practice | 0 comments

Light in the Dark

This time of the year we see lights everywhere we turn. It is ironic – or maybe practical – that during the shortest days of the year, we look to bring in light in every corner we can. We light the lights of Hanukkah. We see lights adorning homes, businesses and trees in celebration of Christmas. We receive the lights of Kwanza. The winter solstice is the start of the solar year, and as such, a celebration of the light of the sun. So perhaps the message here is that it is upon us, in times of darkness, to create and celebrate light. There is...

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#MyGivingStory—The Power of Compassion

Posted by on December 5, 2017 in About In the Gardens, Building Community, Caring for One Another, Equality, Giving Back, Growing Food | 0 comments

#MyGivingStory—The Power of Compassion

The following is a story I submitted for this year’s #MyGivingStory, in recognition of some of the roots (no pun intended!) of In the Gardens. Parts of this story have been shared before, but here it is in its most updated form. Vote! #MyGivingStory is a storytelling contest created by the #GivingTuesday organization to foster a public conversation about giving and to inspire more people to give. Visit: goo.gl/Z7wNmv to vote for this giving story. In 2014 I was rear-ended at a red light. I was more stunned than anything else, and getting out...

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Extending our Thanks: #GivingTuesday

Posted by on November 16, 2017 in Building Community, Caring for One Another, Caring for the Earth, Feeding Each Other, Giving Back | 0 comments

Extending our Thanks: #GivingTuesday

Next week we will celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday that brings people together to reflect on and express their gratitude for the good in their lives. Yesterday I was talking with a gentleman in the grocery store. I don’t know him by name, but he has helped me over the months and years, and when he saw me he went out of his way to say hello. “I’m now on the night shift,” he said, “and I don’t see customers as much anymore.” When I asked him how he was, he said, “Thankful. With all that’s going on in the world, I have shelter, clothing, food...

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#HoustonStrong

Posted by on October 30, 2017 in Building Community, Caring for One Another, Climate Change, Social Justice | 0 comments

#HoustonStrong

I am honored to have participated in a trip to Houston last week for disaster relief after Hurricane Harvey. It was coordinated by an organization called Nechama, and promoted in Chicago through the Jewish United Fund. When I saw the email invitation, I quickly checked my calendar and said, “Yes!” I submitted an application and was invited to take part. Nineteen people – sixteen volunteers and three JUF staff members – traveled to Texas to see how we could be of help. The whole group, including Nechama staff – about 30 people – was graciously...

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