Seeds of Hope

Welcome to this edition of Firelight: Wisdom to Support & Inspire where we explore and share the magic of connecting food, faith, and climate justice!

At the Gandhi Mahal Interfaith Garden we are harnessing our collective energy, identities, and green thumbs to plant a backyard garden that models our version of a community driven & culturally appropriate food system. We know that the earth and soil hold tremendous capacity and promise to address the climate crisis.

If you’re in the metro area, we invite you to join us to volunteer in the garden this Thursday, August 10th from 9 am to 12 pm at 3201 22nd Avenue South Minneapolis. Kids are welcome! We’ll be: prepping beds & playing with compost so we can plant cilantro, carrots, lettuce, & spinach; mulching; harvesting eggplant, peppers, lemon balm, & hopefully some tomatoes! Email [email protected] or call/text 763-772-6439 if you’re interested in joining us.

In the meantime, read on for more in this latest edition of Firelight!


Eighth Edition, Seeds of Hope

August 8, 2017


Stories of Success

Hope is sprouting all around us when we look for it! Check out this great story from our partners at Lake Harriet United Methodist Church where 11-year-old Silja Bijnagte worked to build raised garden beds and brought together volunteers from her church in a common goal of serving their neighbors – one carrot at a time. Check out a short video about her work here. 

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Semilla Center at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church


Successful projects are sprouting all around us, including at St Paul’s Lutheran Church Semilla Center.  They say: “Making our community greener, safer and more beautiful through our public art and gardening program. Our “Semilla” project is building artistic and community development skills in our neighborhood.  Semilla means “seed” in Spanish, and our Artists-in-Residence have been teaching mosaic and mural arts to senior citizens at St. Paul’s Home, school children at Andersen Elementary and families through workshops in four locations in the neighborhood. Thanks to a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, we are able to work with the community on public art that beautifies and unites the community.” Learn more here.


Placemaking, Participation, & Reclaiming the Public Commons

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Check out this fun and engaging Ted Talk from Mark Lakeman about Reclaiming the Public Commons. “There was a time when spaces between our homes brought us together... like a snail needs a shell, like a fox needs a den, like a bird needs a nest humans need a sense of place not just a sense a gathering place at every single scale of their community.”

How can we creatively reclaim the commons? Take a walk in your neighborhood and imagine what you could create in the spaces in between. In Minneapolis? Check out the public parklet program.



Sweet earth

Crumbly in my hands

Firm where I stand

Keeper of seeds

Kept safe


Without need or ask

Of life in return

Little sprout

With strength and might

Emerging despite

All that will be

~ Claire Baglien


Solutions in the Soil

“Healthy soils have structure that allows them to retain large quantities of water. This structure not only holds soil in place preventing erosion, it also allows plants to be more tolerant of weather extremes. Regenerative systems increase the amount of carbon in soil while maintaining yields. In fact, research shows that yields under organic systems are more resilient to the extreme weather which accompanies climate change.”


What can we do?

  1. Grow your own food or buy local

  2. Buy organic

  3. Reduce food waste — 50 percent of food produced in America is wasted

  4. Eliminate industrial meat, dairy and eggs from your diet and reduce overall consumption of animal products and if choosing to eat meat, seek out 100 percent grassfed products.

  5. Work with your local authorities to particularly from animals raised in animal factories

  6. Protect local agricultural land from land grabs and wasteful development

What will this do for you?

  1. Reduce your consumption of and exposure to chemicals

  2. Reduce your carbon footprint

  3. Increase your health — a diet rich in plant-based foods can help reverse diseases can reduce the risk of health problems such as Type II diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol whereas meat and dairy can increase these risks

  4. Increase your food security by supporting your regional foodshed.

~ Read more by Elizabeth Kucinich, Board Policy Chair of the Rodale Institute


All We Need

“All we need to live a good life surrounds us. Sun, wind, people, buildings, stones, sea, birds and plants. Cooperation with all these things brings harmony, opposition to them brings disaster and chaos.” ~ Bill Mollison, Co-Founder of Permaculture

What do you need to live a good life? Where do you find that source?