Together with farmers and gardeners from Vermont to California, Throop gardeners share a simple love for the earth.
By Thom Hawkins
This is my third year of helping to create a drought tolerant garden at Throop UU Church in Pasadena, and the harvest so far this year is setting records. Will it survive the coming heat? This will be the acid test. Human resilience is on the line everywhere.
In Vermont, sixty-four year old Karl Hammer takes his free range eggs to market in a wagon pulled by a common mule and a very dignified American Mammoth Jackstock donkey, far bigger than you would expect a donkey to be.
At Lane’s Landing Farm in Kentucky, Wendell Berry, twenty years older than Karl, plows with horses and still writes with a pencil. Tanya Berry edits, conspires and inspires with love in between baking and canning.
Ron Finley, LA’s Gangsta Gardener, conducts a Gardening Master Class to teach us all how to become food sufficient in the cracks of urban concrete. Athalia Renee shows her young son and daughter what life looks like from the ground up in her Montrose community garden. Clara Aburto squeezes plants into every inch of her LA yard.
Young Jack Thrift grazes sheep to help regenerate the soil in Quail Springs Canyon, where Natalie Bartlett cures the woolly hides. Brenton Kelly bends Quail Springs Creek into permaculture resurgence, eventually restoring the flow as the Chumash remember it all the way down California’s Cuyama Valley to the Pacific. Octogenarian Sue Blackshear paints the canyon’s beauty, Jan Smith sings the praises, Andrew Clinard greases the wheels, and Janice Setser and Samantha Wilson fill their green-powered wagon with the future.
A dead churchyard in Pasadena is turned into permaculture heaven on earth by January Nordman, Michael Kelly, Tera Klein, George Patton, Sylvia Holmes and Therese Brummel, all miming prayers for everlasting life. Leigh Adams begins her seventies helping turn our parking lot into a water harvesting basin.
In my early eighties, I avoid thinking about immortality–way too long–just trying to scratch the surface about one hundred years out. (Seeds stored for thousands of years can still sprout.) I will stay modest and continue taking on this century, emerging with Karl, Wendell, Tanya, Ron, Athalia, Clara, Jack, Natalie, Brenton, Sue, Jan, Janice, Samantha, Andrew, January, Michael, Tera, George, Sylvia, Therese, Leigh and maybe you. Come emerge together.
We’re always looking for enthusiastic volunteers at The Throop Learning Garden: Saturdays, 8:00 am – 2:00 pm. Weekday hours also possible. We’re waiting for you at Los Robles and Del Mar. Wear your mask and observe social distancing. Please.
$28 for 1 Year
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