Autumn has arrived at the Houston Botanic Garden!
It’s pumpkin time! Pumpkins are everywhere, including at the Garden. There’s pumpkin bread, pumpkin hummus, and, of course, pumpkin lattes, but pumpkin pies are my kiddos’ preferred way to eat this healthy veggie; we are already on our second of the season.
The fall harvest is a reminder of the gifts of sustenance that we receive from the natural world. Botanist and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer, teaches that our relationship with nature is reciprocal. We care for plants, and they care for us. Indigenous tradition views plants as valuable life and honors them as they are taken for consumption, in what Dr. Kimmerer calls the Honorable Harvest.
These principles ensure that the future seventh generation will have as much abundance as we do now. It is amazing to think that planting trees and how we harvest can be acts of care for our grandchildren’s grandchildren. The protocols are transformative and include principles of community, gratitude, sharing, and good stewardship.
We may not always remember our reciprocal relationship with the oaks around us, and how each breath of oxygen that we take in was breathed out by those oaks. Our home, planet Earth, is a blessing that continues to bless us. As we harvest, if we do it right, we can ensure that generations to come also receive these blessings.
Amanda Gorman, in her address to the UN, said: “We must go the distance, though this battle is hard and huge, though this fight we did not choose. For preserving the Earth isn’t a battle too large to win but a blessing too large to lose.”
Claudia Gee Vassar, President & General Counsel
Read the October 2022 e-newsletter for more, including fun facts about Cucurbita pepo (pumpkins), things to consider before buying fertilizer for your lawn, and an interview with the neighbors who literally live next door to the Garden’s main entrance, and are among its most enthusiastic supporters.