From Compost to Social Action

I recently was at a congregation that was investigating what their next steps might be.  In discussing what their resources were and what the perceived needs might be in the community;  it arose in the conversation that they have been composting for years.  Thereby   creating a nutrient rich soil that is not being used. 

What about using the compost to grow a vegetable garden on their property and give the produce grown to the local food pantry. If regulations prohibit them from doing that, then sell the produce and donate the proceeds to enable the food pantry to purchase additional foods.   

It was noted that with the increasing number of families struggling to make ends meet in the current economic crisis that acquiring sufficient quality food will be difficult.  This would be one way of aiding the food pantry in town to provide additional quality food to those who are needing it.

The idea grew.  They had been contemplating having their Children’s Religious Education program this spring focus on the interdependent web of life and ecology.  The children could assist  in applying what they have learned by helping to grow the garden.  The parents and adults could also learn what the children have been learning by working alongside the children.  

It becomes an event that the entire congregation can participate in as a community.   It will aid in all of the members getting to know each other better in doing this service for others.  Beloved memories of this will live on in the history of the congregation. 

The compost which had been simply added to weekly would become a focal point in how the earth recycles itself to create soil.  It suddenly would become useful beyond just being there as home to earthworms.  Supplying it with food scraps and other vegetative matter suddenly becomes meaningful and useful instead of some concept idea that someone in the past convinced the congregation to do.

This simple resource already available to this congregation became a means to not only learn about values that Unitarian Universalists have but also how we apply those values to help better our world.   It became a possible means to help feed the hungry and aid them to survive the current economic crisis with hope.  It became a means to learn about ecology and recycling in practical ways.  It became a means to learning about food and its value to life.   It became a means for this small congregation to do some social action beyond their walls into the community in which they live.

I am excited about the possibilities this opens up for this congregation.  And I believe its goals are replicable for other congregations to also do in a simple yet profound way.   Blessings

One Comment

  1. i remember as a kid that our neighbourhood all had food gardens. very encouraging to hear about your initiative – we are assisting communities within knysna re: food gardens as food scarcity a real issue, and are busy training NGO’s and communities to get back to earth. God bless:)stacey

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