Gardening Eden, by Michael Abbaté is a book about creation care that, as the tag line says “will change your faith, your life, and our world.”
I was first introduced to Mike’s book by my son-in-law, who had climbed Mt. Hood with him. He told me a friend of his had this book coming out that he thought I’d enjoy. As one who has had a long-standing desire to care for creation, and one who has also had a long-standing faith, I was intrigued. I have read several books that combine the viewpoints of faith and environmentalism. Some have been kind of thick and academic, some spiritually “glossy” with little how-to substance.
What I appreciate about Mike’s book is it is written in a very conversational way. I’ve tried to keep this website written that way, because you are much more likely to actually read it if it’s not dry. I want you to read my posts and not doze off half way through. And Mike’s book does just that. It is an easy read, but not without substance. He arranges the book into two sections: “The Garden State”, where he sets the ground-work of where we’re at and kind of how we got here and “Becoming a Gardener”, where he gives some clear, distinct ways we can better care for this creation we have been entrusted with.
My favorite part of The Garden State can be summed up in two quotes from the book. “Gardening Eden was not Adam’s punishment; it was his purpose.” And, “God gives us this universe freely, wanting us to discover the joys of responsible stewardship, of moderation, and the freedom that comes with self-discipline and caring for a flock, of not squandering resources. And by doing these things, God tells us, we’ll better understand and appreciate Him.”
In Becoming a Gardener, Mike gives us 50 Gardening Tips on how we can better tend this garden we’ve been entrusted with. Food, Energy, Transportation, Home and General categories cover the 50 tips, many of which are very easy for us to do, we just often haven’t yet developed that habit. Mike gets us to stop and think a moment and in that, maybe shift our habits just a bit, and in doing so, we become a better gardener.
Through all this, and after I had read the book, I have had the opportunity to meet Mike and his wife Vicki. And I can tell you, they live these principles out. They truly practice what they preach. That’s refreshing. Thanks, Mike, for a good read.