Krystina Friedlander has converted her yard into an organic veggie patch where she grows fresh eggplants, crunchy, wholesome green beans, kale, basil, ginger root and other plants so that she can enjoy her own healthy, organic food.
She is passionate about trying to ensure that her community has access to a supply of this organic food, and looks at ways in which she can reach this goal. Having visited several mosques in the US which have the land and space to grow food, she wondered how those areas could be transformed into gardens, and what it would take for this to happen?
She has envisioned how children could plant their seeds in trays and watch every week as their plants grow and eventually form a vegetable garden filled with leafy greens and other healthy foods. Volunteers could be responsible for watering the plants, pulling out weeds and checking for bugs.
They could grow garlic, onions, peas, tomatoes, kale, spinach, carrots, squashes and even keep the seeds for their next batch. During the harvest in mid-summer, families can each take a basket of fresh veggies home with them to enjoy.
If the opportunity arises for other methods of producing their food, they could also have a few chickens to lay eggs and beehives to produce sweet honey. The food leftovers can be placed in a compost heap to be used for the soil in assisting the growth of their food.
During Iftar, people will be able to enjoy eating food grown by their community. There are plenty of mosques with suitable grounds for growing food, and growing centers can easily be started by partnering with local food organizations, such as American Community Gardening Association and Urban Harvest.
Such gardens have already been grown successfully by several mosques, churches, and synagogues across the US. She says that they can share their experiences with us and in this way, we can learn from one another and feed one another. Friedlander feels that it is “important to consider how we spend our time and energy, and how that capital goes into supporting one another in the community.”
She sees this is a start which can develop into many successful community projects in the future years to come.