Wasteland Treasures

out of the ashes rises hope ....

It was mid-morning, yet the heat from the sun was already intense. From over the hill, smoke was rising up and blowing north with the smell of rotting and decaying earth. Vultures circled overhead, patiently waiting as Job drove towards the smoke and ash, turning onto the dirt road that led him to a discovery of immeasurable value. At first glance it appeared there was only fire, smoke, and mountains of destroyed and discarded waste in the city dump, but as Job gazed thought the haze, he saw children scouring the smoldering heaps, looking for something of value to take home. As he watched, his heart grew heavy, knowing these kids were seeking anything to make life better for their families … even the possibility of food that might still be suitable for the dinner table. Wondering where these children lived and if he could help them, Job decided to follow them home.

He was led to a community wrestling with the effects of poverty. A number of the families had little more to eat than red beans and tortillas, and many of the children appeared malnourished. His heart moved, Job was convinced that he and his wife, Adria, could affect positive change within this community.

A handful of weeks later, further investigation proved that Job’s initial observation was correct: malnutrition was rampant in this community, and it was impacting the children, as they were lethargic, unfocused, and missed school often. As people of faith, Job and Adria are compelled to show God’s love and compassion in all they do. Both have specialized degrees in agriculture and knew they could begin strengthening the community. It became clear that the solution to malnourishment rested in gardens full of vegetables that would provide food and balanced meals. Applying their passion for youth and their education in agriculture, they are affecting measurable change by implementing family developed home gardens in this community.

TerraMica is funding the Family Gardens project, and the impact in families has been profound! Job and Adria work side by side with children and parents, teaching them the importance of good nutrition, the basics of gardening and raising vegetables, and how God works through good soil, seeds, water, and good care to provide nutritious food in the form of vegetables. Working the earth, planting seeds, nurturing a garden … this is not a hobby, this is a source of health and sustenance. Providing food for the table, nutritional balance for the body, extra produce for sale and income, empowering families to provide for themselves – this is what our Family Gardens project is all about. It’s planting seeds of hope for a more vibrant life for children, for families, for an entire community, and it’s finding some of incredible treasures right at home in the garden.

And, little did Job know, that out of the ashes, those children of the wasteland would become a treasure to him!

TerraMica and partners … cultivating hope through family gardens

by Pam and Ed Apffel, TerraMica