A Garden's Bounty Shared
Congregation Bet Ha’am and the garden committee are understandably proud of the Bet Ha’am gardens. As congregants and visitors arrive, they are welcomed with a variety of landscapes. The courtyard gardens greet those going to and from the synagogue and provide a pleasant backdrop while in the social hall. The sanctuary garden and reflecting pool augment our connection to spiritual and emotional wellbeing while we are in services. Our raised beds, near the bio-retention basin, are part of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Harvest for Hunger Program. And we celebrated the burning of our mortgage by planting a new beech tree on the street side of the synagogue.
Most years, we welcome spring with a plant sale–rain or shine! This is the garden committee’s primary fundraiser; profits from our plant sales help further our goals (see below). This year, we will unfortunately not be able to hold our spring sale. But you can still help us! If you are working in your garden or planning a new garden, please read below for the many ways you can share your bounty with us next year.
We will need plants to sell! All shapes, sizes, colors, floral and foliage types are appreciated, as are plants that thrive in the sun, shade, or a little of both. We love herbs and veggie seedlings.
Due to winter moth considerations, the garden committee will ask that all donated plants from a home garden be dug up on or before May 1. Research indicates this date is least likely to impact the spread of winter moth. Ideally, clean the soil off the roots over newspaper and dispose the newspaper and soil into trash bin; then repot the plant with fresh, commercial potting mix. If you dig after May 1, please ‘bare-root’ and repot in commercial soil, following the aforementioned directions.
If you are buying seedlings, annual flats or perennials for yourself, consider an additional purchase to donate to this plant sale. You can contribute up until the morning of the sale.
Many people help to make our sale a success. Early risers can help set up the sale; late risers can help during the sale and/or clean up. The more hands, the quicker tasks are completed. There is always great dialogue about the plants–a fun way to learn from each other and our customers. And of course, snacks are provided throughout the sale.
Bring friends and family along to find that plant you have been looking for; perhaps a plant you never thought to add to your garden or to buy as a gift will catch your eye! Join in on the lively plant conversations. Meet congregation members and the synagogue’s neighbors. We are delighted that neighbors return annually.
The garden committee is always looking for people to help with our established gardens and beds at Bet Ha’am. Notices of tasks are posted in our weekly emails intermittently throughout the garden season; typically, the tasks lasts a few hours, with fine nourishment and company!
- To enhance, through the gardens, the spiritual experience of members and guests
- To design, improve, and maintain the synagogue gardens
- To nurture and create new ideas, as necessary, for the Bet Ha’am gardens
- To plant and harvest produce in raised beds to donate to food relief programs
- To support the congregational educational programs for adults and students as they relate to tending the earth