Our CABI Garden provides CABI’s neighborhood some land to cultivate good, fresh, nutritious food for families to grow themselves - showing people they can provide for their families with a little good land, some water, some warm weather and good conditions and some time. Our mission to be good stewards of our land and resources to help others includes reducing CABI’s carbon footprint from our site and facilities with good energy conservation practices and gardening and environmental education for congregants and neighbors in our wider community leading to CABI’s sustainability.
Major Milestones & Project Timeline
1. CABI has hosted a community garden since the historic CABI synagogue (built in 1895) was moved to our Latah site some 10 years ago. Irrigation lines, storage shed, and a gazebo for shelter from the summer sun were added to open land at the site. The community garden was developed originally to serve a Somali refugee community whose members live nearby.
2. In recent years CABI Garden has been expanded to irrigate adjacent land to serve congregants and CABI neighbors as well as our refugee neighbors.
3. CABI Garden is a core feature of our GreenFaith project - http://greenfaith.org/ - and we applied for GreenFaith Certification in early 2014 and were approved in May 2014.
4. Through last summer, 2014, our GreenFaith project team – ‘Green Team’ - collaborated to complete required self-directed Spirit, Stewardship, and Environmental Justice Audits from which our Action Plan for CABI’s GreenFaith Certification evolves; CABI Garden is key to the Environmental Justice segment of our Action Plan.
5. October 2014 CABI gardeners enjoyed a bountiful Harvest Festival together sharing CABI Garden’s bounty; numerous gardening stories and lessons; good communal celebration, appreciation of our accomplishments looking ahead to our next growing season and learning what we can to improve our garden and practices in subsequent summers.
6. In mid-November we submitted our 6-month Report to GreenFaith 2014 including our Audits and our ‘in process’ Action Plan.
7. Implementation of our Action Plan, with Feedback from GreenFaith’s Stacey Kennealy, includes holding Foodbank http://idahofoodbank.org/programs/cooking-matters/ ‘Cooking Matters’ classes to support our Somali refugee neighbors. The first classes are now underway as part of our Environmental Justice project through February 2015.
8. 2015 gardening with our Somali neighbors in CABI Garden will begin in March.
9. We have arranged to work with an ‘Environmental Justice Leader’, expected by GreenFaith, offering guidance to help our neighbors and to advocate on their behalf. Kathy Gardener who heads Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force – see http://www.idahohunger.org/ - has agreed to be our EJ Leader.
10. We are completing an energy audit with Idaho Power Company toward energy conservation and sustainability to improve CABI’s facilities, and now we move forward with our plan to institute their suggestions. CABI is improving stewardship of our land, including improvements to ground cover to mitigate endemic ‘goat-head’ problems, reduce use of pesticides and chemicals, plantings to optimize our site and develop a “Walk through the Jewish Year” path, etc.
11. We continue to involve and educate members of our CABI community to appreciate the importance of our CABI Garden to CABI and our neighborhood and greening CABI to reduce CABI’s carbon footprint and improve our sustainability. We will continue work to educate congregants and others in our community by example to garden and green their homes and lives and to be better environmental stewards.
Partnerships with Outside Organizations