A Jewish Blessing for the Edible Garden at Rodef Shalom

On Friday, May 27, 2011, Rodef Shalom Preschool held a Teacher Appreciation lunch. During this lunch, Harriett Green, one of our teachers, encouraged everyone attending to view our edible garden and to see how much the students have planted so far. Once the group was assembled in the garden area, Rabbi Aaron Bisno gave a short talk about what Jewish tradition says regarding planting. He indicated that there is a midrash the speaks about how each new seed gets it’s own angel, which encourages the seed to grow and flourish.
However, neither Rabbi Bisno, Rabbi Henry, nor Rabbi Hertz was able to find a blessing specifically for newly planted items. Rabbi Bisno indicated that he believes this is so because a Jewish blessing usually accompanies an action or an immediate result. When planting, we have to anticipate the future blessing of the adult plant, during the harvest. However, Rabbi Bisno did find a blessing that “thanks G-d for the continuous renewal of creation.” This blessing is transliterated as “Baruch ata Adonai Eloheynu Melech ha’olam oseh ma’aseh b’reisheet.”  Blessed are you G-d Sovereign of the Universe who continuously blesses creation.
After this lovely blessing, the group also said the “shehekianu” prayer which is said when one does something for the first time, moments we’ve anticipated and moments of celebration. “Baruch ata Adonai Eloheynu Melech ha’olam shekekianu vekeyamanu vehigianu lazman ha’zeh.” Blessed are you G-d, Sovereign of the Universe who has kept us alive and sustained us and brought us to this moment.

April Ohms, another preschool teacher, created a wonderful short movie of the event. Check out a video of the blessing here.

kids in the garden

All the families and teachers and guests admired the newly planted items such as the strawberries, tomatoes and pea plants. The garden will continue to get new plants and to be tended by the teachers and students over the summer.

 

Edible Garden at Rodef Shalom Free Workshop Tonight in Pittsburgh

Integrating Edibles in Small Suburban and Urban Landscapes Workshop

Monday, June 27, 7:00 PM

Edible plants in landscape

Come learn how to weave edible plants into small spaces with Nancy Knauss, master gardener and educator for the Penn State Cooperative Extension.

This workshop is sponsored by Life Long Jewish Learning at Rodef Shalom Congregation, made possible through a URJ Incubator Grant.

Rodef Shalom Congregation
4905 5th Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 621-6566

Edible Garden Shabbat at Rodef Shalom Congregation this Friday June 10, 2011

 

Pittsburghs Backyard Gardener Doug Oster

 

Friday, June 10th 6:30 pm
Rodef Shalom Congregation
4905 5th Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

 

Doug Oster, Post-Gazette Backyard Gardener & KDKA Garden Guru, will lead a discussion based on his book Tomatoes Garlic Basil: The simple pleasures of growing and cooking your garden’s most versatile veggies. A vegetarian dinner with potluck salads and sides will be served at 6:30pm.  The discussion will begin promptly at 6:45.  

All are welcome to attend.  Please RSVP to JoAnne Ruffing, ruffing@rodefshalom.org – bring a salad or side dish to share with 6 people.  Free Parking.

 

Sign up to Plant Vegetable Seedlings in a Self-Watering Container this Wednesday

earthbox with peas and radish in Edibe Garden

Edible Garden EarthBox with Peas and Radish planted on May 1st by the kids in Religious School

Inch by Inch. Row by Row.
Come Help The Garden Grow!

Wednesday, June 1 – 6-8 p.m. – Deaktor Terrace/Lawn
The Edible Garden at Rodef Shalom

 Sign up to plant vegetable seedlings in a self-watering container.

There are a limited number of containers, so reserve yours today! Pizza dinner
and deserts provided. Please bring a fruit or vegetable side dish to
share with 6-8 people. Make fun garden art. Sing and learn blessings for
the garden. Take a tour of the Biblical Botanical Garden, open from 7-9p.m.
This event is for everyone, and it’s fully accessible. Sign up to
plant as a family, couple, or single. RSVP to JoAnn: 412.621.6566 or 
ruffing@rodefshalom.org.

Time to Plant the Edible Garden at Rodef Shalom and the 25th Season of the Biblical Botanical Garden

Inch by Inch. Row by Row.
Come Help The Garden Grow!

Wednesday, June 1 – 6-8 p.m. – Deaktor Terrace/Lawn
The Edible Garden at Rodef Shalom

 Sign up to plant vegetable seedlings in a self-watering container.

There are a limited number of containers, so reserve yours today! Pizza dinner
and deserts provided. Please bring a fruit or vegetable side dish to
share with 6-8 people. Make fun garden art. Sing and learn blessings for
the garden. Take a tour of the Biblical Botanical Garden, open from 7-9p.m.
This event is for everyone, and it’s fully accessible. Sign up to
plant as a family, couple, or single. RSVP to JoAnn: 412.621.6566 or ruffing@rodefshalom.org.

Biblical Botanical Garden Opening
Summer 2011, Our 25th Season
“Eat, Drink, & Be Merry: Wine & Food in the Ancient World”

Wednesday, June 1
Sunday – Thursday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Wednesday (June-August): 7 – 9 p.m.
Saturday: Noon – 1 p.m.

 Visit ancient Israel in a setting of a cascading waterfall, a desert, and a bubbling stream, the Jordan. Plants are displayed among replicas of ancient farming tools. Dedicated hostesses and docents, directed by our talented horticulturist, Irene Jacob, welcome thousands of visitors each summer. Open to all. Free. Accessible. Group tours for eight or more.

 P.S. Mark your calendar for our Garden Anniversary Shabbat Service on Friday, July 15 at 5:30 p.m.

The Kids are in the Garden! Seed, Grow and Learn in the Edible Garden

Kids from 2-4 years old in the Rodef Shalom Preschool have planted seeds and are tending to them under the grow light until they are ready to be planted outdoors in the Edible Garden.

kids looking at seedlings growing in grow light

Seedlings growing under the grow light at Rodef Shalom Preschool

 

According to the teachers at Rodef Shalom Preschool,

When a child is involved in a gardening activity such as planting seeds, there are many concepts to explore, discover, and learn. The children explore math skills. They are exposed to literacy through stories about gardening. They learn social skills by working with other children and learning to care for and nurture a living thing. Through gardening, plants grow and children grow too.

Planting the seeds for the Edible Garden

Step 1: plant the seeds

Watering seeds in The Rodef Shalom Preschool

Step 2: water the seeds


Seedlings planted by kids in Rodef Shalom Preschool

Step 3: tend to seedlings under the grow light

 

Lettuce growing in Rodef Shalom Preschool

Time to make salad!

 

Vegetable Gardening Books for Kids

With The Edible Garden at Rodef Shalom under way, the Glick Children’s Library offers many books to enhance your learning.  

Here are some recommendations from Libriarian Anne Molloy highlighted in the current issue of the Rodef Shalom Hakasher:

The Carrot and the Seed by Ruth Krauss The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss.
A young boy plants and cares for a single carrot seed with surprising results.

The Gigantic Turnip by Aleksei and Tolstoy

The Gigantic Turnip by Aleksei Tolstoy and Niamh Sharkey.
Retelling a traditional Russian tale. A husband and wife enlist the help of their animal friends to harvest the gigantic turnip.

Inch by Inch: the Garden Song by David Mallett

Inch by Inch: the Garden Song by David Mallett.
The words and music of the title song are simply and boldly illustrated by Ora Eitan.

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming.
Mr. McGreelyis challenged to find a way to keep three hungry bunnies out of his garden.

Our Community Garden by Barbara Pollak

Our Community Garden by Barbara Pollak.
A multicultural group of gardeners plant, tend, and harvest a garden, concluding with a festive meal.

A Prayer for the Earth: the Story of Naamah, Noah’s Wife by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
A Prayer for the Earth: the Story of Naamah, Noah’s Wife by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso.
As Noah gathers animals for the ark, his wife gathers seeds of all living things to repopulate the plants after the flood.


Pumpkin Circle: the Story of a Garden by George Levenson

Pumpkin Circle: the Story of a Garden by George Levenson.
The cycle of the pumpkin from seed to fruit and back to seed is explained.

Up, Down and Around by Katherine Ayres
Up, Down and Around by Katherine Ayres.
Local, award-winning author explores garden plants in rhyme with whimsical illustrations by Nadine Bernard Westcott.

 For the kids that want to cook what they grow, here are a few cookbooks:
Grow It Cook It by Jill BloomfieldThe Farmer's Market Cookbook: Seasonal Dishes Made from Nature's Freshest Ingredients by Richard RubenFresh from the Farmers' Market: Year-Round Recipes for the Pick of the Crop by Janet Fletcher