Press release from Soul Gardens:
Soul Gardens out of Barnardsville, NC, is giving local folks a chance to learn from and uplift members of the Cherokee community through working with them in their traditional garden. The upcoming 2022 program brings participants to the Katuah Cherokee Mother Town once a month to plant and tend Aunt Amy Walker’s garden of traditional corn, beans, and squash. Walker, Cherokee elder and garden manager shares: “These seeds have been planted by the people living here for as far back as we can remember. Our traditional foods come from these varieties of seeds.”
Soul Gardens 2022 Immersion is a journey through the growing season in organic gardening, holistic living and community service. Participants learn gardening and deep nature connection from program founders Scotty Karas and Maayan Chelsea, along with their Cherokee collaborators, Walker and her nephew, Tyson Sampson. The program takes place from March to November. Participants meet once a week at SunSong Community in Barnardsville, and once a month at Amy’s garden at the Katuah Mother Town.
Micah Ellinger, 2020 Apprentice writes: “This program is what the world needs: learning, growing, connecting deeply to the Earth & each other.”
As an organization, Soul Gardens places focus on reciprocity and acknowledgement. This means studying the real histories and current realities of the land and seeds that feed human beings, along with the people who have come before us. In recognition of the historical and current systemic oppression of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), Soul Gardens offers scholarships to BIPOC applicants.
“We value reciprocity, so we take time to give thanks,” writes Maayan Chelsea. “We take time to honor the seeds and give back to the soil. We sing, we make beauty, and we tend the earth with love and intention as a way of giving back to the source of our nourishment”
Find out more by visiting SoulGardensLove.org.