Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, as a way of life

May 29 meeting to discuss public gardening opportunity for worship communities


An upcoming meeting will discuss how religious institutions can participate in Lots of Food, a new resource for creating public food forests and edible gardens intended for free community use. Open to all Rochester-area worship communities, the discussion will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29, at the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester offices, 935 East Ave.

Recently started by the Rochester Permaculture Center, Lots of Food aims to turn disused land into edible landscapes and to connect these projects with mapping technology, providing food and educational opportunities within our community.

The program, which the Episcopal Diocese recommends to Rochester-area diocesan parishes interested in growing public food, will provide churches with free consultation and assistance in designing and planting a public garden. The garden can be very small or very large - the only requirement is that the fruits and vegetables grown may be harvested by anyone. Likewise, a garden may be tended by members of that worship community or by Lots of Food volunteers. A sign will be placed in each garden, indicating that it is a Lots of Food site.

Lots of Food is inspired by the Incredible Edible (IET) project and Pam Warhurst’s TED talk How We Can Eat Our Landscapes.  IET has successfully focused community, schools and businesses on democratization of healthy, affordable food. Benefits of IET have included more local produce, new learning, business opportunities and greater social and cultural unity.

Like IET, Lots of Food emphasizes integrating people of very diverse backgrounds to solve problems together.  In keeping with the principles of permaculture and ecological design, all food forests and edible garden spaces will be designed to model regenerative agriculture, working with nature to provide clean food.

“Re-learning how to connect with our locality, its plants, animals and each other, and understanding how food joins us all, is key to how we face the future and the challenges it brings,” said Patty Love, founder and program manager of Lots of Food. “Though IET is located in England, which has different laws, they have published a toolkit and several other documents from which we will learn and draw.”

R.S.V.P. for the May 29 meeting to matthew@episcopaldioceseofrochester.org.

Questions about the program should be directed to Love, who is also Program Manager of Rochester Permaculture Center and has been working as a permaculture and edible landscape design consultant and teacher since 2009. She may be reached at patty@lotsoffood.org or (585) 506-6505. For more information, see http://lotsoffood.org/.