Re: Growth charts

Months ago I wrote about how plants are like people and the impact our environments have in our growth. Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t follow up with the diversity in the ways in which plants grow, the varying ways we grow.

I’ve been joyfully growing different plants since that post in October. More recently experimenting growing red bell pepper seeds and an avocado seed from food scraps. Sustainability is something that I value, but we’ll dig into that later (yes, pun intended!) After a few weeks of nurturing my bell pepper seeds, I started to notice how fast certain seedlings were growing, while others held a much slower pace. And so, even if they came from the same bell pepper their growth charts were not equivalent, the ways they developed roots were not equivalent and the direction that they were growing were not equivalent. My avocado seed actually took more than 100 days to start a stem, and the root is much thicker in comparison to the roots found on a bell pepper seedling. I watered all of these plants the same way everyday, yet their outcomes are not totally the same. Why? I’m not going to pretend to know why because I don’t. Although, not knowing does not limit how much I can and want to take care of these plants. The uncertainty of their growth charts don’t dictate the love I want to shower them with and the joy I receive seeing them flourish at their own pace and at their own time. So why is it so hard for us to translate the same level of compassion with fellow human beings? One word: expectations. 

As only Christ can speak to me in such a way that I may be saved, so others, too, can be saved only by Christ himself. This means that I must release the other person from every attempt of mine to regulate, coerce, and dominate him with my love. The other person needs to retain his independence of me; to be loved for what he is… 

Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pg. 35-36

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together shares a powerful message about what it means to live in community as Christians during a time of hatred and great division, a hopeful byproduct of experiencing Nazi Germany. Who would have thought there was such a thing? Nonetheless, I was humbly reminded by Bonhoeffer’s book while tending to my seedlings and feeling the frustrations of navigating through difficult relationship dynamics. To put it simply, I was reminded to meet people as they are as God meets me as I am, wherever they may be in their life journey. And yes, I recognize that this is easier said than done. But if I can’t make room to see humanity being reflected in front of me, how could I carry the same level of compassion I’m willing to pour over my plants? How could I connect with people meaningfully? How could I love people truly? We learn and grow in so many ways, because we are beautifully diverse in nature. 

Always,

K

P.S. Be brave, curious and kind. 

Plum Picking with Not Far From The Tree

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Last weekend, I attended my first fruit pick with Not Far From The Tree (NFFT). It was a great experience to share with fellow fruit lovers and volunteers! With all of the fruit trees in multiple neighborhoods, it doesn’t come as a surprise that NFFT will be reaching their 100, 000 pounds of fruits this season.

NFFTT Staff 2015Initially founded by Laura Reinsborough in 2008, after being inspired by a guerilla fruit picking initiative in California. NFFT is on their 8th pick season across 14 different wards across the GTA. With roughly 1,600 registered trees and 1,000+ interested fruit pickers in the city it’s not a small picnic. To my surprise, NFFT actually only has a very intimate group of employees, around 6-7 during busy harvest season and 2-3 in the off season, which means the program activities are predominantly run by dedicated volunteers.

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For my first pick, I went plum picking with our pick leader Leslie with a few other pickers, some first time pickers and experienced pickers. Some of the ladies told me that they have gone apple picking, cherry picking, grapes, apricot, mulberry and so on. Who knew we had these fruits in our neighborhood backyards? Literally!

IMG_5153If you’re looking for a fun volunteer experience to fill in your volunteer hours for school, interested in urban agriculture, or just looking for a fun way to connect with your community over food, register with NFFT for a delightfully fruitful experience!

Have you gone picking with NFFT? Leave a comment below and let us know all about it!

Always,

K

Market 707

My friend and I tried to go to this area for weeks! It’s an incredibly innovative market made up of vendors using makeshift shipping containers as their kitchens. There are some benches, chairs and tables around the area but for the most part, people have just ordered and eaten there food at home. I, however, would encourage everyone to sit down somewhere and have conversations with the vendors if it’s not busy or to bring a friend. It’s quite suting that this market is just on the side of the Scadding Court Community Centre.

The slow eaters we were, my friend and I were one of the last few customers around the area still chomping, trying to finish our food. It was nice to see that all of the vendors knew one another. They formed their own community as the vendors of Market 707. They came out of their kitchens, had lively conversations with one another and helped each other close up for the day. This is why I love food. It brings joy to people and creates communities. Granted, it has been the cause of some disagreements and wars, but for the most part, food seems to always bring people together. And what a delectable sight it can be!

 

Always,

K

 

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