Fall/Winter Edition of Woodbox Newsletter!

Posted on: February 6th, 2013 by Silver Lake Mennonite Camp

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for……..green beans?”

This summer three camp staff, Barrett Bender, Nick Read and Dan Good, designed, planted and cared for SLMC’s kitchen garden.  The garden is approximately 35 x 80 ft and is tucked away in the field adjacent to initiatives. 

 The idea of a garden was volleyed around among staff the previous summer.  Together they discussed how it could contribute to camp life and voted to go ahead.  They prepared the soil in advance of this season.

The garden was beautiful and bountiful.  The kitchen was floating in zucchini and the freezer is jammed with squash.   Food was sold to parents at pickup and in September there was enough remaining to can!

Tending a garden is a skill.  For many of us it’s part of our heritage. However for many we’ve lost the knowledge and are ill equipped to mentor our children in this skill.  Consequently, our children not only miss out on some of the most nutritious food, but perhaps also on a simple activity of the soul.

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Working in a garden allows us to interact with nature as a co-creator, not just a bystander.  It requires us to listen deeply to what is needed: a trim,  a watering or a change of location.  Gardening demands hope, faith, patience and always results in humility.

In the garden we become keen observers, scientists and artists.  We plant seeds and if all goes well, we experience abundance. Yet we know rain and sunshine alone are not enough. Soil is the key ingredient. Caring for your soil and making it as fertile as possible is the foundation of gardening.  In Mark 4:8, The Parable of the Sower tells us seed sown into fertile soil will sprout, grow and produce a bountiful crop.  I suppose that as staff, volunteers, donors and parents we are all gardeners. We open children up to the wonders of our faith. We plant the seeds of curiosity. We quench their thirst for spiritual nourishment and we patiently watch, wait and pray.  Our hope is to grow strong, resilient children, better equipped to face the world that often has soil and conditions that are difficult for growing.

So…tend the soil, plant ……

As gardeners, our work is never finished, it is always a work in progress.

The lessons are endless in the garden and we could all benefit from spending more time there.  I hope Silver Lake’s garden will provide an abundance of food as well as an abundance of opportunity for personal and spiritual growth for campers and staff and that we will all be receptive and fertile soil for whatever seeds God sows in us.

Fall Woodbox Newsletter