The mission of Gardens for Humanity is to "heal the world, one garden at a time." The simplicity of this powerful goal brings tears to my eyes.
Here are their guiding principles:
- * The Earth is our responsibility -- our Sacred Garden.
- * The Earth is our teacher.
- * We realize that a garden is a microcosm of the whole Earth.
- * When we create a garden, we become a Community of Caring.
- * When we create a garden, we become a Learning Center.
I discovered this inspiring grass-roots organization on a recent trip to Sedona, whose towering red-rock cathedrals have drawn together people with big dreams and the persistence to make those dreams come true.
Gardens for Humanity was founded by the artist and visionary, Adele Saronde-a kind of eco-pied piper who, at age 85, is still devoted to making the world a better place. She has inspired everyone she encounters to pick up their pitchforks or dig into their pockets to help make manifest the following goodness:
**Eight edible schoolyard gardens in Northern Arizona.
**A revived orchard, including a permaculture area and teaching gardens at the Crescent Moon Ranch near Sedona.
**A Peace Park in the Sedona Creative Life Center dedicated to the Karmapa of Tibet and Shirley Caris, two leaders who devoted their lives to peace. (The Karmapa is one of the most important holders of the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism.)
**The Sedona Schnebly Garden in the middle of a parking lot-a memorial to the woman after whom the town was named. (The garden features irises that are descendants of those originally planted by Sedona herself.)
The even larger scheme of Gardens for Humanity is to cultivate an "Agricultural Renaissance" by supporting local farmers to grow enough food locally to feed 120,000 people in Northern Arizona within the next few years. This is a huge under-taking since currently there are few farms, drought issues, and red clay soil that needs considerable loving care to improve its fertility. WOW! I bet they'll make it happen despite all these enormous challenges.
On a rainy day in February, Michael Steinman and I visited the Karmapa Peace Park. He did the video as I spoke first with volunteer Rose Marie Licher, who tells about the founder of the Gardens for Humanity and shows us around the Park:
We then heard from Ruth Hartung, a board member of Gardens for Humanity and a founder of the local farmers market, who shows us the park's stone circle and tells us about plans for the local agricultural renaissance: