Alumni Spotlight: Risa Alyson Strauss

April 14, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hello from the north country!  Well, it’s a balmy -2 degrees celcius in Toronto, Canada and while some of you are already knee-deep in compost this growing season, there’s still a light dusting of snow here in southern Ontario.  Despite the wintery weather, spring is definitely here and there is shefa growth on the horizon!  kavanah-garden-logoc

I’m writing to tell y’all about a crazy little dream that I and some fellow Adamanikim (both past and future) have been cultivating in the great land that lies to the north.  Beginning this spring, we will be opening the Kavanah Garden, a Jewish organic sub/urban community teaching garden at a Jewish community campus being developed just north of the city (read: suburbia).  The campus will host two Jewish day schools, two synagogues, a Hebrew high school, a community centre, and eventually a senior’s housing and care facility.

The mission of the Kavanah Garden is to actively engage community members in Tikkun Olam through hands-on and transformative programs rooted in Jewish ecological and agricultural wisdom.  The garden will feature organically grown vegetable, herb, grain, wildflower, and berry beds, a greenhouse, solar oven, compost demonstration site, outdoor classroom, naturalized area, and other such goodness.  Beginning in just two weeks time (ahhhh) we will begin hosting school and congregational groups, youth volunteers, family holiday events, and adult education gardening and cooking workshops.  Also, beginning at the end of May, we will be hosting the Tikkun Adamah CSA in partnership with a local Jewish farmer.  So much goodness!  11-end-of-day-1we-have-a-structure

Progress to date?  Well, last week we hosted 30 community members at the future garden site to celebrate Birkat HaChama together in the SNOW (no joke….oh Canada…), and with the help of a visiting Adamah sister (star points to you Renna!) we just finished building our greenhouse!

For more information about the Kavanah Garden, feel free to check out our under-construction website or join the Kavanah Garden facebook group (where I just posted photos of our greenhouse raising!)

And, if you too are interested in earning some Adamah alumni star points this growing season and want to come spend a few days helping out your Canadian chevre, there is a sunroom with a hammock waiting for you!

With blessings for a season of growth and abundance and community,

Risa Alyson Strauss
Kavanah Garden Program Director
Adamah Summer 2008

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