By MITCH SCHAEFER
St. Pete Friends on the Path recently learned about sustainable gardening practices and lent a hand harvesting produce at the edible garden operated by Daystar Life Center, a nonprofit organization that serves the homeless and others in need in St. Petersburg.
Daystar helps to fight hunger, poverty, and hopelessness by providing the necessities of life to neighbors in need. They provide food, clothing, and personal hygiene items, as well as educate and empower the community through promoting healthy nutrition, good health, and financial literacy. Daystar also connects individuals with resources in the community that can help them get back on their feet. On a typical day, Daystar provides help to an average of 100 people.
Among the many inspiring programs Daystar operates is an organic edible garden which grows more than 50 varieties of vegetables, fruits, and herbs to provide a healthy diet to people in need. Daystar also provides nutrition information and healthy cooking classes, as well as guidance on how to create and sustain a backyard container garden.
During the visit, members worked in the garden alongside Robin Clemmons, Daystar's head gardener, learning about sustainable gardening practices, including the basics of container gardening in Florida, and how native plants benefit us and local ecosystems.
Members also harvested produce and prepared and bagged food for distribution to the homeless and others in need.
Friends on the Path have begun to cultivate new friendships during gatherings at Crescent Lake Park by sharing about their spiritual journeys ad the profound impact that Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings have had on their lives. One of the topics they have discussed was the opportunity to practice engaged Buddhism by working joyfully together to help those in need in the community.
Mitch Schaefer lives in St. Petersburg and participates in many programs at FCM's Tampa Practice Center.