when you don’t have the gift of garden

Maubane children It’s a good thing I don’t NEED a garden. Because I don’t have the gift of garden. Sometimes I try to keep a garden because I love the results, and sometimes I even reap a small harvest, but I don’t really enjoy being the keeper of a garden. My grandfather, he kept a huge garden, loved on it, and then left for fish camp and left the harvest for the nearby neighbors. I’m lucky to get a few tomatoes and some out-of-control squash to feed my family. But Lisa-Jo Baker, she has this crazy idea of planting not just a garden, but a whole community center that would serve 150 adults as well as 250 orphans and vulnerable children in a region called Maubane in Pretoria, South Africa. A place that would nourish these faraway neighbors physically, spiritually, and emotionally. A tangible expression of love to be served up by Mother’s Day at a cost of $150,000. That’s crazy. That’s impossible. That can’t be done. But guess what? The first phase of that project, a community garden, has already been fully funded through Pure Charity since Valentine’s Day, and the second phase has begun–a kitchen and welcome center where the community can serve up food and hospitality under shelter from the sun and the dirt and the dust. Maubane - Kitchen And love meets us in the dust. But it doesn’t leave us there. And sometimes, as Lisa-Jo says, you can change the world with one carrot, one kid, one brick, one classroom, one mom at a time. Or one dad at a time. Or one grandmom. Maubane - Lisa-Jo No, I don’t have the gift of garden. And I don’t really like to get dirt under my fingernails. But I do enjoy spading hearts with words. Finding a wee seed to water. Fertilizing it with little hope. And love. Because love can multiply like dust bunnies and bring hope where once was dust. And even I can plant seeds of love and hope. And Maubane Community Center is a human blueprint of hope where we can all link arms to help make this thing happen. The three roses my husband got me are already wilting. I’ve eaten my chocolate cupcake and wore for a few hours the little pink plastic ring that will eventually find its way to the trash. I’ll tuck the card into a drawer. maubane roses maubane card   But love can last longer than Valentine’s Day because its a verb. And it can move and breathe life outside our own walls, outside our immediate neighborhood. It can grow life from and through and in the midst of dust. Together we can let these kids know they matter. To know they’re beautiful and treasured. Even while we’re sweeping up our own dust bunnies. And we don’t need to have the gift of garden. Click HERE to learn more about this story–and maybe even become part of it. Maubane blueprint

Still dusting but not gardening,


And one more thing. Buy one of these necklaces for $24 from KraftyKash, and Kashoan will donate $12 to this project.

Maubane necklaces


With Jennifer and company

And with Holley, because here’s a way you can experience joy

as well as bring joy to others



  1. says

    I attempted being the keeper of the garden for the first time last summer… it was a learning experience and I’m giving it another go this year, but sometimes I just don’t want to!
    Loved you words in sharing Lisa-Jo’s heart this week!
    Julie Wilson recently posted..Five Minute Friday: Garden