Grace from the Garden: Changing the World One Garden at a Time

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9781579546854: Grace from the Garden: Changing the World One Garden at a Time

"Gardening is the most basic of languages, the labor from which we're all born and nourished. . . ."

In these pages, we travel the country with Debra Landwehr Engle as she visits 20 gardens and gardeners from California to Maine and Minnesota to Arkansas, showing us that grassroots campaigns actually can and do involve roots--and seeds and garden trowels. That any person with a steadfast resolve and an open patch of dirt can help bridge the gap between multinational refugees. That lush vegetation and running water and cool stones can help spark the fading memories of our elderly. And that our children can learn about where food comes from, labyrinths, wetlands systems, and healing from grief and loss just by digging in the earth with a caring adult hand to guide them.

As the stories in this remarkable collection demonstrate, the simplest act of gardening can produce significant changes in the lives of people we might never even meet. Consider the man who sends seedlings and greenhouses halfway around the world to feed hospital patients, or the immigrant woman who began selling her own flowers as a way to raise money for overseas charities, or the couple who offers their land as a midday retreat for the residents of nearby nursing homes. These acts and others are not heroic--or even unusual--as Ms. Engle tells us. We see ourselves in these uplifting tales from the garden, as they inspire us to transform our own little parts of the world into places of greater peace, repose, play, and healing. For gardeners, community activists, and those who understand the spiritual value of putting a spade in the soil, these stories capture the promise renewed each time we plant a seed and give us fresh ideas for changing the world, one garden at a time.

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From the Back Cover:

Grace from the Garden

"What is gardening, after all, but stories? Here are some great ones; full of inspiration, delight, and--surprisingly--more than a few good ideas for those of us in the dirty-hands crowd."--Mike McGrath, host of the nationally syndicated Public Radio show "You Bet Your Garden" and former editor-in-chief of Organic Gardening magazine

"Instead of one more harangue, this book places before us hopeful models and inspires us to get involved--in our own backyards, in our neighborhoods, and in our towns. It demonstrates that positive change is possible: one bucket of compost, one handful of seeds, one garden at a time."--Michael Ableman, author of On Good Land: The Autobiography of an Urban Farm and From the Good Earth: A Celebration of Growing Food Around the World

In big cities and small towns across the nation, people are turning to their gardens to sow seeds of hope, nourishment, and unification--not only for themselves but for friends, relatives, and even the strangers around them.

Debra Landwehr Engle, in Grace from the Garden, acquaints us with the remarkable stories of everyday people, weekend gardeners, and perennial green-thumbs as they make the world around them a little better. From gardening for the elderly to rehabilitating juvenile offenders, from saving kids in a group home to urban community gardening, the true stories in this inspirational collection remind us that, through simply reaching out, sifting earth between our fingers, and extending our time and generous intent, we can effect change that may start small but eventually ripples far beyond our back doors.

About the Author:

Debra Engle's stories and essays have appeared in Country Home, Country Gardens, and Better Homes and Gardens magazines, as well as other regional and national publications. She lives in Madison County, Iowa, with her husband, Bob, and dog, Wolf.

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