Sherry Maddock is living proof that caring for God’s creation and consuming food more sustainably doesn’t depend on having a big backyard – or even a yard at all.
Describing her calling as a gardener, Sherry lives with her husband Geoff and their son in an apartment in the middle of Melbourne's CBD. Together they have turned the basement of their building into an indoor garden called Planted Places.
As recent subscriber to the Renew Our World campaign, the natural world plays a big part in how Sherry understands God.
“My theology is fundamentally trinitarian,” she explains, “which reflects that God exists as a relationship. Ecology is simply the study of how everything is related. The ecology of God is relationship.”
“We are meant to belong to our landscape. We need trees to clean the air, we need chickens to eat our scraps and worms to break down our compost. Inside our guts, on our skin - we are inextricably connected with the world.”
Adjusting to life in Melbourne’s CBD has not been without challenges.
“Most of my adult life, I was able to minimise my food waste with the help of the creatures outside my door. We had chickens and they got lots of our scraps. I was mindful that what I ate needed to be okay for them to eat. So I didn’t feed them cake and in return I was provided with beautiful fresh eggs.”
Sherry now uses the municipal food waste bins provided by the City of Melbourne but also has gone on to learn more about how they can compost in their apartment.
“Worms like food half rotted,” Sherry explains, so she lets her scraps sit in a large, covered container of water for a few days before she throws it into the worm bin down in Planted Places.
Sherry has adopted Michael Pollen's simple mantra to "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." She and her family try not to consume much processed food and buy local, seasonal produce from Melbourne’s Queen Victorian Market.
She talks about how she has given her kitchen table over to God. It is a beautiful example of how we can make even the essential and ordinary parts of our lives an expression of our love for God.