Seven Days to Tend the Earth
Lenten Reflections by Suzanne Rumsey
Day Three – Is the Earth Hungry Too?
“God, Maker of things great and small, reveal your presence to us in the land and sky.”
Scientists have told us that the vast majority — 99.7 percent — of human food comes from cropland, which is shrinking by more than 10 million hectares (almost 37,000 square miles) a year due to soil erosion. Everyone therefore– those who produce and those who consume food– is responsible for land stewardship. From composting to balcony gardens to community shared agriculture (CSA) projects, we can all play a role.
In Haiti, an urban agriculture project supported by PWRDF through the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti’s development organization, CEDDIEC, is supporting 300 urban households to receive seeds, compost, agriculture training, and insecticides for balcony and patio gardens. Elide Barthole is one of the participants in this program:
Over half the homes in Elide Barthole’s community of Carrefour were destroyed in the 2010 earthquake. But hers still stands, unique among others in the area: it has no open land around it, but her balcony is surrounded by greenery.
One of 300 households chosen to participate in the program based on its size and having at least one child suffering from malnutrition, Elide’s household was among those headed by single women that were prioritized for this urban agriculture project.
Elide spends about an hour a day working with the plants on her balcony. In the 3m X 6m area, she is growing tomatoes, eggplant, basil, capsicum peppers, chili peppers, congo beans, parsley, lemon grass, and lettuce. She makes her own fertilizer by mixing sand and charcoal, and gathered the various containers she uses to grow her vegetables from Port-au-Prince.
She has already started to harvest basil from the garden, which she shares with her neighbors to use in making tea.
To support PWRDF’s work with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, please donate here. Please make sure you enter “Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (Anglican Church of Canada)” under the “Member Designation” space. CFGB’s reflection on All Our Eggs in One Basket can be found in the 7 Days to Tend the Earth booklet. The Biblical passage (Gen 3:18-24) can be found here.
“…therefore the Lord God sent Adam forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.”