Planning Your Garden Part 4: The Fall Garden

Planning Your Garden Part 4: The Fall Garden

In the last few weeks,  we have harvested lots of fruits and veggies, and some plants have completed their season. The garden looks different. There are big pockets of emptiness, soil with nothing growing in it. Harvesting turnips, beets and carrots leaves beds empty. Pulling out the leaf baby lettuces after the third or fourth cutting of their leaves, and removing the sugar snap peas once the weather heated up, left open holes in the earth....

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Mindfulness, Chocolate and Walking

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...

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Unexpected Interweavings

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...

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How Do We Measure Success?

How Do We Measure Success?

Working with people is the  joy of our work here at In the Gardens, whether it is helping them discover a love of fresh food as they grow and harvest, or guiding them to greater balance in their actions with self and others through mindfulness practice. It is in our interactions with the people that we serve and employ, our volunteers, and our donors that we fulfill our mission. Here are some of the distinct ways that we measure our success: We...

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You Are Loved

You Are Loved

On Friday I arrived to my part time congregation in Ames, Iowa, in the frigid cold to see chalk paintings on the walks leading up to the country-feeling congregational building. I thought to myself, How lovely. The religious schoolteachers must have brought the children outside to make chalk drawings. I remember that as a child, drawing peace signs was a common pastime. The next day, sitting at a lunch and learn, the topic of the drawings came...

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Listening to the Silence

Listening to the Silence

I spent last week in silence. I was at the JMMTT—Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training—a 15-month program that began last May. It is an advanced step from the 18-month Clergy Leadership Program in mindfulness practices that I completed a year ago July. As I posted on my Facebook page, I celebrated my birthday in silence. That was different. I also observed Election Day in silence. Our retreat guides were sensitive enough to the issues...

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