Indoor and outdoor growing space is utilized as a learning lab and way to bring fresh, organically-grown produce, herbs, and flowers to our food pantry clients.

 

Mission

To provide educational opportunities to address hunger in our Jewish community at its roots, with a focus on healthy and sustainable practices.

 

Our Hebrew Calendar Garden in the greenhouse is planted in raised beds, some of which are mobile.

 

Grounding Values 

  • K’vod Ha-B’riot//Honor for all Human Beings-
  • Tzedek//Justice
  • Tikkun Olam//Repairing the World
  • Shomrei Adamah//Guardians of the Earth

 

Objectives

  • Empower participants with the skills to grow and process their own food.
  • Promote better understanding of our local food system and its issues.
  • Create a strengthened connection to Judaism, through meaningful educational experiences.
  • Programs appeal to a diverse crowd, and connect participants across social, economic, and religious groups.
  • Giving Gardens is a welcoming space to everyone, blurring the line between volunteer and client.

Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation team members after volunteering at Giving Gardens.

 

Background

“The purpose of the Giving Gardens project is to merge the best that a hunger relief social service agency (like Yad Ezra) provides with the passion, innovation and education components found in social justice work.  Broadening our volunteer base to include those interested in farming and food systems enables us to expand awareness about the needs of those living in SE Michigan who are food insecure.  The Giving Gardens program has already made strong partnerships with agencies in SE Michigan dedicated to hunger relief, food sustainability and the value of growing locally.

All the Jewish holidays are connected to food (or lack of it) along with the seasons and the 7 species referred to in the Bible: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates, so this project is a perfect fit for Yad Ezra.  According to My Jewish Learning Website, “the flowering and fruiting of the seven species parallel our own spiritual development, characterized by self-improvement and preparation for receiving the Torah.  Since the fruiting of the seven fruits is linked to our own spiritual achievement, it is not surprising that these seven kinds comprise a wealth of spiritual attributes, nutrients, and medicinal properties.” 

While Yad Ezra continues to provide free, healthy groceries to food insecure families living in SE Michigan, our hope is to raise awareness and educate volunteers, clients and supporters by bringing them together to experience the benefits of planting and harvesting produce.  We are mindful of our Jewish heritage, the connection and importance that Judaism dictates to us to help and educate those in need as well as the opportunities which are being provided to view food and hunger issues more holistically.”    

– Opening remarks at the dedication of the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation Giving Gardens project featuring the Geri Lester Greenhouse.

Nasturtium is a flowering plant that attracts beneficial insects. Its leaves, stems, and flowers are all edible.

 

Your gifts and support will plant seeds of change in our community! Make a donation to Giving Gardens!