Shmita offers us principles to live by today and a prophetic vision for widespread and radical changes to society that may take us generations. At Adamah we enact the practical applications of shmita on the farm and use the texts and history of shmita as a source of learning and inspiration for Adamah Fellows, retreat guests and other visitors.
Every year on our farm we connect to Shmita principles by:
- Leaving at least 1/7th of our land in cover crop
- Donating at least 1/7th of our produce to communities in need.
- Planting more of our land in perennial crops.
In 5775 Shmita means we will:
- Repair the ecosystems of our land by removing invasive species, planting natives trees, shrubs and herbs, and improving habitat for pollinators.
- Cultivate a shmita garden near the entrance of Isabella Freedman for all passerby to munch on and pick flowers.
- Renovating our spiritual life by: recording and producing our first new Adamah CD since 2007 (the last Shmita year), and inviting guest singers and prayer leaders to the join us for Avodat Lev in 2015.
While we will kick off the Shmita year in fall 2014, the main changes will happen during the growing season (spring and summer) of 2015. We hope you will join us for a retreat at Isabella Freedman or bring your organization or community here.
Why are we farming during the Shmita year? Over the past 10 years, Adamah staff and fellows learned shmita texts together and researched and discussed options. We realized that if we did not farm, the Isabella Freedman Dining Hall, our CSA members, and pickle customers would likely purchase vegetables from less sustainable, non-local farms. If we did not farm, we would not be able to pay the salaries of the staff who both support the farm and the Adamah program and in turn have families that they support. If we did not farm, a year of new Adamahniks would lose the opportunity to learn and grow individually and in community and in connection to Shmita.
As we continue to strive for release in this year, we are aware that we are better aligned with Shmita this year than we were 7 years ago, and we are looking towards 2022 and the possibilities for the next shmita year.