Picture the scene: it’s a sun-drenched June morning in Lakewood. You’re in a verdant sanctuary, where peonies bloom with ironic brevity as some later bloomers are just starting to sprout. You have a garden fork in hand, soil beneath your nails, and a smile on your face. Welcome to Half Moon Farm, the community-forward urban flower and vegetable cremation garden where volunteering not only nourishes the earth but also the soul.
Dedicated to sustainability, education diversity, and inclusion, Half Moon Farm offers a volunteer experience as nourishing as the garlic scapes, glass gem corn, and romaine lettuce that grow there. From weeding to power washing, the farm provides all training necessary for tasks that range from delicate to Herculean, with volunteer days running throughout the summer.
In a world where many lament the scarcity of peonies, Half Moon Farm gifts these ephemeral treasures to volunteers, along with other “goodies” like food, seeds, and gardening support. (If you can’t volunteer, the farm also offers clip-your-own flower nights and blooms for purchase.) But the real bounty lies in the physical and mental health benefits derived from working the soil, breathing the fresh air, and cultivating a relationship with the earth.
If you find yourself short on time but long on enthusiasm, the farm also offers the opportunity to support a row of flowers or veggies for $200. This donation ensures each 50-foot planting is prepped, planted, weeded, harvested, and ready for winter slumber, all while you bask in the glow of do-goodery from afar.
For those seeking deeper connection, Re-Generative Earth, the farm’s nonprofit partner, hosts an annual Grief and Memorial Planting event each May, and you can contact the farm for information about private sessions. “If you have ashes of a loved one, which includes every type of creature, bring some to scatter, and we’ll honor them through planting,” says founder and executive director Eric Rooney. This experience is open to all and serves as a reminder of the cycle of life and the power of honoring the departed through the nurturing of new growth.
Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a green-thumbed novice, Half Moon Farm invites you to cultivate not only flowers and veggies but also a vibrant, regenerative community. Embrace the joys and benefits of the garden, and leave with more than just a handful of kale—perhaps a dash of enlightenment too.