Jorim Rhee inspects a purple snapdragon about to blossom at Redeemer’s Field, a community garden at Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Sacramento.
Growing up as a city girl in the New York/New Jersey area, Rhee said she mostly played indoors and never saw plants growing until she moved to California last year to join the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network, a Davis-based service corps.
“It’s slightly embarrassing to admit, but the first time I saw a tomato grow was here,” said Rhee, 27. “It’s a constant amazement.”
As an outreach associate, she tends two garden plots at Redeemer’s Field, whose vegetables are donated periodically to a food closet at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. Rhee also helps St. Matthew’s with its twice-a-week food distribution line. “I get to bring the food from our garden there and also meet the people whose hands it goes to,” said Rhee. “We all are intertwined, as everything (is) in the earth.”
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Rhee also is helping coordinate an ecumenical garden network, sharing information and linking resources to other local churches interested in starting gardens.
Before coming to California, Rhee worked for nonprofits on housing and immigrant rights issues. She’s enjoying nature’s slower pace. “The garden has been very helpful to me in a spiritual sense,” she said, “which I didn’t expect.”