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Forming a Garden Guild

In celebration of Earth Day & the startup of our community garden project, we’ll have a service titled “Forming a Garden Guild”. Our two main speakers will be Heath Emerson (“How to Fight Climate Change with a Small Garden”) and Meagan Emerson (“How to Work with the Space You’ve Got.”). And thanks to Kay Sanderson & Elaine LeCain, we will have live music! Worship service leader: JoAnn Conard.



10:35:03 Your personal burdens, and maybe your community gardens. So come on up and let's see, we're looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

10:35:12 Okay.

10:35:15 Do you 2 wish to be recorded? Okay, so Sidney will get that going here.

10:35:32 Oh, sorry again. Okay, honestly, this is probably a really brief talk, because I'm only an expert by association.

10:35:41 I could talk about 10 min, on the best ways of cooking onion, but not necessarily growing.

10:35:48 The onion. That's why I think that's probably the only reason why we're married right.

10:35:54 Because we hate each other all day long. But one thing I do know is when simplicity makes extraordinary right.

10:36:03 So it's just the most simple flavors, and it's the most powerful, delicious meal you've ever had, and that's the same kind of concept I think it takes to growing food or to creating a garden is that we tend to have this mindset I'm not saying that anyone in this

10:36:19 room has that, but you see it everywhere where we just take away first, and then we can add in what we want.

10:36:26 So that has a lot to do with tilling. It has a lot to do with digging into the ground and replacing it with with soil bought from the store it has a lot to do with this tree is a massive beast.

10:36:38 It needs to go away because it's ruining my pool.

10:36:41 So this is, a concept. I think a lot of us have is before we start any plot or garden.

10:36:46 We remove things that just don't work with our aesthetics.

10:36:51 When we moved into our rental in Bakersfield just a few weeks ago, the landlord's originally were like, we're going to cut out all this stuff where you guys don't worry about it.

10:37:03 There's going to be like nothing here. We're going to having them on, and we're good.

10:37:05 We're like. No, can you not? Don't touch anything.

10:37:08 We will take care of that. And when we got there I already told Heath there was like, I want our fire pit here I want, you know the garden to be there.

10:37:19 That's probably a good spot right? He's like, wait!

10:37:23 So now you need to take 24 h, and you need to watch where the sun goes.

10:37:29 And I was like, Okay, you know, even even being with him for almost a decade.

10:37:33 Now I still have to learn these things where it's not my land.

10:37:38 It's it's not, and it's not even my landlord's land right?

10:37:44 And so I observed for 24 h, not 24, but sporadically, throughout the 3 weeks I would go out at different hours and see where the sun was heading and where there was shade, and where the birds love to hang out the most, when the birds came out the most and we went to the

10:38:02 nursery we spent a bunch of money and bought all of these plants, and we felt like noobs because we should have gotten this stuff back in February.

10:38:12 But here it's April we're we're the last minute shoppers we.

10:38:17 Then then my niece came over and she's like, I want to plant this one, and I want to put it there, and he's like, well, let's look at the sun.

10:38:23 It needs a lot of sun. Where do you see a lot of sun?

10:38:26 So these are just examples of observing what nature's doing, and then plugging in what you love into what's already there, and I think you know this is this is easy.

10:38:40 If you have a good plot of land. So we have this small pot here, where our 3 graveyard grave beds right, which I love.

10:38:50 Whoever put the roses on the beds that made my day, because I'm a Halloween baby, and a Cobb spirit. So.

10:39:00 But we I came here and a group of us. We were just, I remember, when Heath and I first arrived, but she knew to look at it, and we saw that there was just this massive amount of shade right, and this one small spot where there's bright not necessarily full sign as you can see but bright sun, so he's like well, that's fine

10:39:21 we can grow lettuce in the shade like, why not, girl?

10:39:25 Let us a little bit longer through the summer. That's almost impossible in Bakersfield, and then we can grow more of the full sun.

10:39:32 Things in this area. And let's just start with that and I think it's a great project.

10:39:36 It's manageable right now, and we have a lot of volunteers that are getting into it and already dreaming of bigger options for us.

10:39:44 So it's I think it's going to be a wonderful experience.

10:39:47 I was talking to my sister-in-law this morning as she runs an apartment in San Diego, which obviously is a studio, and she, she tells me about the difficulty of really wanting plants in just a space like that.

10:40:01 So we have to think, how do you work with the small herban space?

10:40:08 She says, because of her cat. She has to hang plants inside that are not toxic to cats, so then you got to think about Ok, not just your space, but your pets right?

10:40:18 And then she says all I could fit are these 2 spider plants right here?

10:40:21 And they're just the littlest things, but they bring her the most joy.

10:40:24 And so we're trying to brainstorm how we can really work with the space of a vertical kind of agriculture instead of just land.

10:40:32 But another one of her good friends, too, was on a waiting list for 3 years for a community garden.

10:40:39 So you never know what bed you're going to get, where you're going to get it, and what plot it's going to be.

10:40:43 But you got it, and she's really working with that space.

10:40:46 She had, and it's just practicing gratitude through the whole process.

10:40:51 What I also want to talk about with this garden.

10:40:55 Here is, we did not dig at all. We did not remove anything.

10:41:00 We didn't weed. We didn't take anything away.

10:41:05 I think it's time that the white man stops taking things.

10:41:09 So we didn't take. We just added on so you know, when the first thing you do when you go on a diet is, you just start removing things and does it work diet stonework because you're always taking things away, and that just sucks so you add things.

10:41:28 You add, add, add, and it crowds out everything else. So the concept was that you cradled the weeds by adding in the cardboard you cut out the weeds and you break down the cardboard by adding in the alfalfa meal, then you crowd that out by adding

10:41:42 another layer of cardboard, and then another layer of alpha meal, which is mine.

10:41:46 It wasn't a lot we happen to move. So we had a bunch of boxes lying around.

10:41:50 And then you add in this compost, which is also plant matter, that added to the soil.

10:41:56 So it's nothing but added on, and that breaks down, and we plant directly into that.

10:42:02 And then we just added the irrigation to it.

10:42:05 So not one person had to get in there and scrape anything away.

10:42:11 It looks like I talked for almost 10 min. Huh? No, not yet.

10:42:17 Well, I won't Babel. I'll only adv value to you, but if you take anything from this, I'll just let that be the only thing you take right.

10:42:27 So add, look at the land you have the sun is your guide, and the birds, and wherever plants love to live and sprout.

10:42:39 Oh, other example that just popped in my head. See? I didn't need to write a script.

10:42:43 We were going to plan something on our side yard, and I was like, just grow grapes.

10:42:47 There, so that'd be awesome. He's like, no, because there are 3 big dogs next door, and if Iraq goes across that grapevine it's going to drive the dogs crazy.

10:42:56 So I think I want to add some fruit trees, and just do like a vertical manipulation to them to grow on side of the wall.

10:43:03 Well, then, he went over there to observe I guess what he observed.

10:43:06 There was already a sprouting of a great vine coming up.

10:43:11 I said, well, are you going to remove it? He goes.

10:43:14 It shows to beat. So that's our role in this world.

10:43:20 And this is where we need to take care of the planet by just being at Stewart's.

10:43:24 That's lands stewardship in a nutshell.

10:43:27 So thank you for your time.

10:43:44 Okay. I also, I didn't prepare it screamed, but I can also talk for 10 min as long as you want.

10:43:53 I mean, I can really talk like for a long time about these things like, you guys will want to go out to lunch like sooner rather than later.

10:44:01 But you know, I wanna talk about really how gardening in our own.

10:44:09 Spaces is a huge solution has a huge impact on problems like climate change, biodiversity, loss.

10:44:20 And you know, Joanne, you said that it's easy to feel doom and despair.

10:44:28 I'm 32, and it's like most of the 32 years of my life have been all the hottest years on on record.

10:44:37 You know, and I can. I can just go down Rabbit Hole and feel like there's no hope but I think there's a lot of falsehood in that, and I think a lot of us have personal personal motivations and personal.

10:44:57 We're obligated were to be morally responsible for doing this, and really one of the biggest solutions is hiding in plain sight, and that is the soil.

10:45:13 And I think a lot of people are starting to at least understand what soil really is.

10:45:21 It's this living organism. It's not just in inert dirt.

10:45:28 I hate the word dirt. By the way, it's just so disrespectful to it.

10:45:32 Soil is really what what has been neglected and not paid attention to, but it offers one of the biggest solutions for us personally, you know, we here to.

10:45:48 There's a, there's a organization called Project Drawdown, and they list all the different things that individuals like us can do to lessen our our part of footprint and our impact.

10:46:06 And one of the biggest thing is to eat more plants, to have a very plant-centric diet, but another one is really how we interact with soil.

10:46:16 If we have land, if we, if we can have the ability to influence and have a decision on how we treat our soil, it's going to have a huge impact, because it is one of the biggest besides the ocean.

10:46:34 The biggest carbon sinks on our planet, and agriculture.

10:46:41 Historically, has been one of the agitators in climate change.

10:46:48 We've agriculture has been one of the things that has driven climate change and what the what was the first song we sing today, mother, or something like that.

10:47:02 There was a line it was aligned to needs to be updated.

10:47:03 Cause, it says, till in the soil, and it's like we can't be doing that anymore.

10:47:09 So agriculture historically, has had a huge impact on climate change and biodiversity loss.

10:47:20 Habitat, loss, Agriculture is, is one of the is is the main reason for that.

10:47:26 However, there's a style of agriculture that I don't really like to call it new.

10:47:33 It's just blending old wisdom and new.

10:47:39 I think science, about that. We're learning more about soil.

10:47:42 It's called regenerative agriculture.

10:47:45 I don't know if anyone's heard of it.

10:47:46 Yup, and so regenerative is there is this idea that we can grow food.

10:47:55 And repair the, you know. Help the earth, regenerate itself, and it's not just in theory.

10:48:03 It actually does work. And there's principles that we can follow.

10:48:08 And we can be regenerative regenerators of Earth in our own personal spaces.

10:48:15 Here, at our church, in our community garden, or in our household gardens, or if we have farmland, we can do that too.

10:48:24 But there's about 4 different principles that really drive that regeneration.

10:48:34 So the first one is that we really need to disturb the soil as little as possible.

10:48:40 So when we started this, that's super cool garden, we laid everything down on top and didn't disturb.

10:48:50 We didn't dig anything in. We didn't disturb the soil and one of the main reasons the Usda has 4 years now described tillage as or digging as a hurricane, a tornado and earthquake. All those things happening all at the same time to the soil food web so it makes you

10:49:09 think? Why do we do that you know, if that if it's if it's destroying the the habitat in the soil like we probably should not do that anymore.

10:49:22 And regenerative is, is banking on that it's founded on that.

10:49:30 So when we do that, when we garden in our own spaces, we should disturb the soil as little as possible, so whether we are starting a new garden, or we have some weeds that we may not want in a space, we have to figure out how to handle those things without disturbing the

10:49:56 soil. The second principle is to have plants growing 300, and 65 days a year, and this really is one of the big drivers of climate, or how we can reverse climate change, or at least take the carbon out of the air and put it back into the

10:50:16 soil. It's the the carbon pathway, and it's where plants when they are photosynthesizing, they actually store extra carbon back through their their root chemicals, and it gets stored long-term as it's called humus and the only way.

10:50:37 We can do that, though, is we, if we have plants growing 365 days a year as soon as we leave soil, bearing with nothing wrong, the whole system starts to collapse.

10:50:47 So when we are gardening, our own space is growing in our own space, we have to think about that.

10:50:55 How can we plan to have something right? And we're very lucky here at Lakersfield, because we can't have something growing 365 days a year?

10:51:04 Our winters are very mild and it's it's quite easy to do that.

10:51:09 So keeping that in mind too, and then the other one is keeping soil covered, so we don't always have to have plants completely dominating the whole space.

10:51:25 But we need to cover the soil with something like wood chips or compost, so that it keeps the food web protected from, or or cause.

10:51:37 If we don't do that, it's going to dry it out.

10:51:40 It's going to kill the soil life. So these are ways that that we can interact with the soil and help climate change help combat it by using regenerative practices in in our homes.

10:51:58 That's going to be that's going to make a huge impact.

10:52:01 Your literally storing carbon. You're doing your part, storing more carbon back into the soil.

10:52:11 I think it's. It's also like a much more pleasurable way to grow.

10:52:18 We had a great time out there, and I don't know.

10:52:22 I think most of us like felt fine the next day, right?

10:52:24 Get what it wasn't. It wasn't super backbreaking.

10:52:30 And you know that just that makes kind of sense, you know, it's we're supposed to like, have fun healing our planet.

10:52:37 So if I could leave one message. Is that growing gardens, whether their food or medicine, or even ornamental , are, in fact, something that everyone can do, and it has a huge impact.

10:52:57 I would think it's the butterfly effect.

10:53:00 It's a little microcosm having a huge impact on the macro.

10:53:04 So thank you.


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