Friday, May 25, 2018
News Roundup

Plant City community garden celebrates fruitful year with ceremony and blessing

PLANT CITY — When a group of Plant City residents began working on a community garden a little over a year ago, they envisioned a place where people could reconnect with their food and their neighbors.

"We had an intention to have the community become a community again," said Karen Elizabeth, a certified holistic health coach and one of the garden's founders.

The group will hold a rogation ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Plant City Commons Community Garden, 309 N Carey St. in Plant City, with prayers for a fruitful harvest led by the Rev. Dr. Thomas Thoeni, rector of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Plant City.

Rogation ceremonies are part of the Book of Common Prayer for the Episcopal Church, but have their roots in an ancient pagan ritual from the fourth century, with aspects that predate Christianity.

Thoeni, who has been a priest for 14 years, learned about it in seminary, but first performed the ceremony last year after the garden opened and members asked him to perform a blessing. The ceremony is not very common, he said, because it's based on agricultural needs and priests in large urban areas wouldn't often be called on to perform it.

"It has some elements that are very Celtic in the sense of understanding land as a gift from God," Thoeni said.

The ceremony was also an ancient way of record-keeping, originating before legal records of land boundaries were kept. Part of the ceremony involves a formal march around the fields' boundaries to indicate where to plant. A prayer is said facing each direction, asking for the winds, rain and other elements needed for a fruitful harvest.

"It was very refreshing," Elizabeth said. "It kind of created another level of connectedness to the earth."

The garden has about 15 members, and they're looking for more. Some members have their own garden beds, while most contribute to the whole garden. The group meets the fourth Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Bruton Memorial Library, 302 W McLendon St.

The garden is "prolific," Elizabeth said, and grows things like cabbage, tomatoes, herbs, beans, squash and flowers. They also have a beehive, and plan to plant donated pomegranate and olive trees. Members donate food from the garden to local churches and food banks.

The garden has also allowed St. Peter's to meet people in the community who aren't members of the church, Theoni said. He's enjoyed watching those connections grow right along with the vegetables.

"It's community on all grounds," he said.

Keeley Sheehan can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 661-2453.

Comments
Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

By Joey JohnstonTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — Rays LHP Ryan Yarbrough deserved better Friday. But the offense didn't offer much, allowing the Orioles to escape with a 2-0 victory before an announced crowd of 11,354 at Tropicana Field."It ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

ST. PETERSBURG – In January, sure.In July, absolutely.But, now?And, once again, for someone who they hope helps in the future.The Rays made a shocking trade at a surprising time of year Friday, dealing All-Star closer Alex Colome and Tampa...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Steve Yzerman’s summer plans: Make the Lightning better

Steve Yzerman’s summer plans: Make the Lightning better

TAMPA — Captain Steven Stamkos said the Lightning's window for contending for a Stanley Cup championship is not closing."I think it's wide open," he said Thursday, one day after the Lightning lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to the C...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still can’t stop bad judgment

Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still can’t stop bad judgment

It’s human nature in following any tragedy to imagine: How could this have been prevented? On that score, the city of Tampa responded appropriately to the deaths this week of a mother and her toddler whom police say were hit by a teenage driver racin...
Updated: 3 hours ago
In federal trial, jury finds Hernando deputies’ actions justified

In federal trial, jury finds Hernando deputies’ actions justified

TAMPA — Michael Bratt told a story.He said that Hernando County sheriff’s deputies attacked him in his home early one morning eight years ago, beat him severely on his front lawn, and continued the assault as they took him to a hospital.But another s...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

The 18-year-old who was arrested this week after police said he was racing when he fatally struck a young mother pushing her stroller across Bayshore Boulevard was back in jail on Friday night.Cameron Herrin, 18, was arrested on a second count of veh...
Updated: 3 hours ago
The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Stanley Cup final begins Monday in the unlikeliest of places: a city new to major pro sports and suddenly the center of the hockey world, Las Vegas, whose Golden Knights could become the first first-year expansion team to win a championship.And t...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Before we even get going, let me be clear about something.This is not a column making an argument about whether or not NFL players should be able to kneel in protest during the national anthem.That topic has been debated repeatedly, loudly and passio...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

The Rays made a major trade Friday afternoon, sending All-Star closer Alex Colome and OF Denard Span to the Mariners.The return is two minor-leaguers, RHP Andrew Moore and RHP Tommy Romero. The Rays also sent cash to the Mariners.Span, a Tampa produc...
Updated: 5 hours ago
For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

By JOEY JOHNSTONTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — For openers, the Rays will use RHP Sergio Romo, the 35-year-old career reliever, as tonight's starter against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field.Romo is making his third career "sta...
Updated: 6 hours ago