In Genesis God creates the first Adam from the adamah [ground], and tells him to ’till and keep’ it, the fertile soil on which all life depends. Human from humus. That’s our first etymological clue as to the inextricable bond we share with the soil. Our ecological problems are a result of having forgotten who we are–soil people, inspired by the breath of God … The command to care for the soil is our first divinely appointed vocation, yet in our zeal to produce cheap, abundant food we have shunned it; we have tilled the adamah but we have not kept it.
These are some opening remarks from theologian and farmer Fred Bahnson in his book Soil and Sacrament: A Spiritual Memoir of Food and Faith, (p. 8) where Bahnson does a beautiful job showing how important it is that we–not just as people, but as Christians–are knowledgable and intentional about where and how our food is produced.
The problems that Bahnson exposes have led to all sorts of wellness issues in our society, like the urban food desert epidemic, as well as obesity, diabetes, and other food-related conditions and illnesses–not to mention just overall malnutrition.
This is all because fresh, locally grown food just isn’t readily available to many people in our cities, when it should be one of the easiest services to provide.
The Binghampton Development Corporation has supported efforts to change the food situation in the community for several years, by supporting both the Urban Farms and the Urban Farms Market. The BDC also supports the Community Garden of the Carpenter Art Garden, which also grows food for local families.
For the past few years, The Urban Farms Market has only been open during the summer months, and we’re very excited to announce that it is now up and running once more at the corner of Tillman and Sam Cooper, thanks to the generosity of the Pirtle family for the use of the site. Please consider going by there to get your local food to support them in their goal of making healthy produce available to everyone.
Also, the BDC is pleased to be entering into a partnership with the Memphis Center for Food & Faith, who will from now on be managing the Urban Farms.
The Memphis Center for Food & Faith launched this season their Bring It Food Hub, which I have subscribed to and have really enjoyed. Once a week from May through September, a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) package with a variety of locally-grown produce is waiting with my name on it at my preferred pick-up location at the BDC.
CUMC member Eva Lang also has participated in Bring It this season and has especially appreciated the charitable opportunity that
comes with it:
I told my husband Scott about the concept of Bring It – we had just recently discussed that a friend of ours had a CSA from another vendor last year and had a good experience, so we were already in a CSA-receptive mode. He immediately said that we should sign up for ourselves and also sign up to give a share to a needy family. So, I loved the idea of getting a selection of fresh produce every week, but what convinced us to sign up was the ‘Pay It Forward’ option where we could sign up to provide a weekly basket to a needy family.
You can check out a news article about the Bring It Food Hub here.
While it’s too late to sign up for this season, keep your eyes peeled for announcements for signing up for next season!