I am currently enrolled in a course on helping to effect social good in society by enhancing the commons. This is the general area in any community open to the public for prescribed use such as walking, gardening, socializing, relaxing, grazing, recreating, and generally doing your own thing. In an urban society where there is a growing movement to densification and the development of private land for commercial interests, the people at Wesleyan University believe the time has come to share a renewed vision as to what common property could mean across the globe if it were better managed.  What I have learned so far is that common and cooperative ownership goes well beyond effectively running a community garden for the benefit of the many as opposed for the few. Areas such as intellectual property and free speech should be a big part of the discussion as to how we come together in greater cooperation to solve the problems that so easily beset us: systemic poverty, climate change, intolerance and affordable housing. There is a belief out there that if only we could access individual property with respect to tapping into money (philanthropy), ideas (patents) and material (commodities),the common good would soar. In other words, greater harmony, greater prosperity, and greater security. Well, the small-scale Gorge Community Garden proves, once again, that such hopes are not automatically guaranteed. This successful and bold little project on bringing people together on a number of key levels depends on grants and fundraising to survive, owns no big concept that can be sold on the open market, and has no way at present of preventing theft or vandalism. What it does have, instead, are numerous ways to harvest the power of nature to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Bringing it all together is a well-thought-out plan that stresses regular maintenance, responsibilities, and vision. This summer has seen the introduction of site improvements such as drip irrigation and increased common area for planting. Allotment renters have been advised – and seemed to have heeded – to not overplant things like tomatoes and to harvest regularly. New species are popping up all over the place, and members are making greater efforts to share. Just a short while ago, Belle and I were given a small avocado tree grown from a pitt. Let’s not forget the incredible impact Nature has on this process of local horticulture. Fecundity, after all, depends on finely-balanced blessings of the sun and rain, and this has been an especially good year. Our pumpkins are growing rapidly; the sunflowers are reaching to the sky; and  the tomatoes have gone well beyond first blush. Oh, yes, the committee, which is always critical to the welfare of such public ventures, has given us a list of ten tips for countering theft. If we don’t want to be left with a bitter-sweet memory of tending a box garden, we need to harvest in a timely manner. For us that means visiting our allotment every day and taking away produce as it ripens. We also take regular photos that capture the prolific growth. Out of all of this, we are learning afresh the generative power of God’s natural world to produce tasty and nutritious vegetables and fruit that can be available as easily as growing it in your own garden. An added reward is being able to see it happen multiple times around you. Now, if that could only happen, to a greater degree, across the face of this world, where intellectual property or the need to make money gets in the way, what a great place this would be, especially megacities where the greatest increase in poverty is being felt.