Across the country churches are growing their own food to ensure “the least of these” have their daily bread. Some begin to realize that cultural diversity and biodiversity are equal parts of the recipe for a healthy food system. Even so, there is one secret ingredient that can be overlooked. It’s our spiritual relationships.

Knowing the ways of the south wind, and the scent of healthy soil not only make us more in tuned to Nature, it also makes us more in tuned to one another and our Creator when we open ourselves to the process. When I visit churches that have overlooked the “gospel” of the garden, I think of Paul when he admonished the Corinthians to include love in their spiritual practices. This food sovereignty manifesto is one attempt to include love as a practice when growing food and people.

“Though I plant in raised beds and open ground, if I don’t plant the Holy Spirit in people’s hearts, it profits me nothing. I am spreading raw manure on concrete.

If I raise the most abundant food systems: regenerative in design, locally owned, democratically controlled with water sovereignty; if I harvest the greatest yield using minimal effort, and clock the greatest number of volunteer hours, if participants don’t learn the mysteries of the Earth, I have done nothing.

If I start gardens in all 50 states for free so that I may boast, while participants do not love and become one with the master gardener of all souls, I produce nothing.” I wonder who else has the experience that producing mature fruit on the vine and mature human beings occurs in the same garden?

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