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

Planning Your Garden, Part 1: Companion Plants

Posted by on June 22, 2017 in Gardens, Growing Food, Mindfulness, Organic Gardening, Permaculture | 0 comments

Planning Your Garden, Part 1: Companion Plants

“I planted peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil and zucchini,” a neighbor told me. “The tomatoes aren’t growing at all, and the cucumbers are really struggling. How do you get your vegetables to grow so full and productively?” I hear these questions often. There are some basics that might seem obvious: a spot with enough sun and soil, the proper amount of water. But there are many more elements that contribute to a successful garden that many of us might not be aware of. In permaculture gardening, we talk about designing a site that makes the...

read more

Tags: , , , , ,

Mindfulness, Chocolate and Walking

Posted by on June 12, 2017 in Caring for the Soul, Meditation, Mindfulness, Mindfulness Practice | 0 comments

Mindfulness, Chocolate and Walking

When you think of mindfulness, what comes to mind? I recognize that’s a pun of sorts. Apologies. When someone tells us to be mindful of something, they are seeking for us to pay attention, to focus ourselves to make sure we are present for a particular event, thought, or activity. Teaching mindfulness has the same goal. We begin with paying attention to simple things, perhaps how we eat a piece of chocolate or a raisin. Bringing our awareness to how we brush our teeth or the way we step down the stairs in the morning. As we become mindful of...

read more

Tags: , , , ,

A Special Volunteer!

Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Caring for One Another, Feeding Each Other, Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Social Justice, Volunteer Day | 0 comments

A Special Volunteer!

Last Saturday I had the honor of seeing one of my former students become a bar mitzvah. It was especially meaningful because of the close relationships I have with so many members of his family, particularly with his grandmother Judy (Gunga, as she is known), who is one of In the Gardens’ main volunteers. And yet it was even more meaningful because this gentleman has been spending the last few months here working with In the Gardens for his community service project, a part of this rite of passage. I was not only thrilled to see this young...

read more

Tags: , , , , , ,

Volunteers Make our Gardens Grow

Posted by on May 30, 2017 in Feeding Each Other, Gardens, Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Uncategorized, Volunteer Day | 0 comments

Volunteers Make our Gardens Grow

This weekend, being a long one with the Memorial Day holiday, gave more time than usual to be in the garden. We held two volunteer days, and while our numbers were modest, our work was extraordinary. One might not realize what goes into making a garden productive and functional, let alone beautiful. And we want our garden sites to be beautiful as well as fruitful. This weekend’s objectives were to: replace an 8’ x 3’ cedar raised bed that had rotted out, plant onions in our strawberry bed and compost the bed, make comfrey compost tea, harvest...

read more

Tags: , , , ,

Spreading Gardens in the Neighborhood

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in About In the Gardens, Building Community, Caring for the Earth, Feeding Each Other, Gardens, Growing Food, Organic Gardening | 0 comments

Spreading Gardens in the Neighborhood

The main purpose for which the In the Gardens main site was started was to serve as a source of food and education: for the congregation of which I was the rabbi, for the broad community, and more specifically, for my neighborhood. I had a vision that sharing the harvest with my neighbors would not only build good friendships, but serve as a springboard. In the first year, I was given tips from my next-door neighbor about the growing and pruning of tomatoes. He grew these as well as peppers and cucumbers. He told me his Italian grandfather...

read more

Tags: , , , ,

Spring Fundraiser – Join our monthly giving program!

Posted by on May 17, 2017 in About In the Gardens, Building Community, Caring for the Earth, Gardens, Giving Back, Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Volunteer Day | 0 comments

Spring Fundraiser – Join our monthly giving program!

Spring has come much too early this year. From those 70-degree days in February, plants took off early out of the starting block. Even though we’ve had a snowfall since then and some additional cold days, the warm weather is here, and it’s time to get all the goods into the ground. There are times during the season that we need to work overtime, and this is one of them. Our water system is in, but needs some fine-tuning. Some of our seeds are in, but lots more of our beds need to be prepped and planted. Trees and plants around the property...

read more

Tags: , , , , , ,

Unexpected Interweavings

Posted by on May 10, 2017 in About In the Gardens, Caring for the Soul, Growing Food, Meditation, Mindfulness, Social Justice, Sustainability | 0 comments

Unexpected Interweavings

Life is filled with unexpected interweavings, cycles and circles. I experienced some of these this past week on my JMMTT – Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training – at Isabella Freedman retreat center and farm. Nestled in the woods of Falls Village, CT, about 90 minutes from the nearest airport, the center boasts trails and a pond, several greenhouses, a large network of yards and structures for goats and chickens, and extensive fields for produce and fruit orchards. This is all in addition to its lovely facilities for meditation,...

read more

Tags: , , , , , ,

In the Gardens First Volunteer Day!

Posted by on April 26, 2017 in Building Community, Feeding Each Other, Gardens, Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Volunteer Day | 0 comments

In the Gardens First Volunteer Day!

This past Sunday, April 23, was In the Gardens’ first formal Volunteer Day, and a great day it was. We tackled a number of projects. Early this week we brought several cubic yards of compost to the property, and the first objective was to use it in the rebuilding of the keyhole garden. A keyhole garden is a permaculture design term. In making inwardly or outwardly curved areas, like a keyhole or its perimeter, one can make better use of one’s space, growing more food. Our keyhole is built with crescent edgers. We wanted to reset the...

read more

Tags: , , , , ,

In the Gardens Volunteer Day Celebrating Earth Day!

Posted by on April 14, 2017 in About In the Gardens, Caring for the Earth, Earth Day, Gardens, Growing Food, Organic Gardening | 0 comments

In the Gardens Volunteer Day  Celebrating Earth Day!

Volunteer Day  Celebrating Earth Day! Sunday, April 23, 2017 10:00 am – 3:00 pm In celebration of Earth Day 2017, which is Saturday, April 23, please come to the In the Gardens Earth Day Volunteer Day on Sunday, April 23. You will learn about gardens and growing food while you help us plant this season’s fruits, veggies, herbs and flowers. The In the Gardens garden is in Melrose Park, a near west suburb of Chicago. Some of the day’s tasks will include: Composting and organic-fertilizing the beds Pruning the grapevines Planting seeds and...

read more

Tags: , , , , ,

Spring and the Transformative Possibility of Horseradish

Posted by on April 5, 2017 in Caring for One Another, Feeding Each Other, Growing Food, Human Rights, Social Justice | 0 comments

Spring and the Transformative Possibility of Horseradish

Spring brings many thoughts and feelings: sunshine, the yellow pop of daffodils, a day here and there that is warm enough to play outside. For me it evokes all of these, as well as the recognition that it is time to plant the garden. This year we got our cold-loving greens in the ground early: baby lettuces, spinach, kale and collards of several varieties, cress and arugula, and my personal favorite – sugar snap peas. We planted on March 19, and due to the cold since then, these babies are just punching out of the ground. They show promise,...

read more

Tags: , , , ,

  • Sign up for our newsletter!

  • Close