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“Taste and See!” Cultivation, Creation and the Corhaven Garden

photo-2In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Pope Francis, in his “Laudato Si” encyclical released last year, notes that not only did God create the earth but that it is still a place of his Presence.  God created the earth and God dwells in his creation.  Sustainable farming, responsibly sourced food, low carbon footprint – these are all buzzwords we hear in restaurants and on TV and plastered onto packaging.  We are thankful that this is becoming more ingrained in our culture. But too often it is still separated from the Creator of nature.  And in some ways, these things have become their own religion. At Corhaven, our garden is a constant reminder of God’s great love for us. It is one of the ways we, and our visitors here, stay connected to God’s presence. In Genesis we see that the Lord formed us with his own hands out of the earth.  His own hands! It’s not a violent creation story with explosions and battles, it’s the story of a careful and loving gardener, who cultivated creation, and then asked us, his creations, his image-bearers, to do the same.

We love to honor God through his Creation and carry his love to others through the bounty of his abundant love through the earth. We often return to the garden as spiritual metaphor. This year the garden at Corhaven has gone through a major expansion, and so has Coracle! In light of our launch of Common Good Things–our ‘business as ministry’ line–more cultivated land was needed and that expansion has seen our garden grow from  2,700 square feet to around 6,700 square feet (see above photo). Between the three growing seasons of spring, summer, and fall, we’ll have over 60 different species of plants, many of those with multiple varietals, to grow, tend and harvest this year. Twice in Jeremiah 29 does the Lord command to plant gardens and eat what they produce.  We are only too happy to obey!

Like most new endeavors, this one comes with the passion of new ideas and the brain work, time and physical effort it takes to implement them. It has been a great and ongoing commitment to undertake and I’m thrilled to have the help of our wonderful summer intern, Giovanna Meek. Time will yet tell how the weather, soil health, insects and gardener’s wisdom (learning from both the outright success and the inevitable mistakes) will affect all of our efforts his year. This is often the case not just in the garden but in our journeying together in Christ too. And as we hope that this growing season produces fruit in all of us, through God’s pursuit of us and our pursuit of him, our hope is to offer you wonderful products through Common Good Things throughout the coming year and what you’ll eat when you come on group retreats at Corhaven, through which we can again be grateful for such a loving Creator of it all. “Taste and see that the Lord is good”…literally!  Find out more on Coracle’s website, or Common Good Things.

Also, watch for “Fresh Picks” from the Corhaven garden, produce boxes delivered to The Local Market in Falls Church,VA for pick up for those who order them, or available at group retreats at Corhaven during the growing seasons. Make sure you’re on the Common Good Things mailing list, and be the first to know about what’s available when!

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