Gardeners know the healing power of growing. Hence all the time and energy devoted to it beyond the commercial element; it is what sustains us. But gardening also provides a sense of community and togetherness through reaping what was sown, personally and organically.

On Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2, at 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the public is invited to participate in the Fourth Annual Labor Day Harvest at the Abundant Table Farm located at 1012 W. Ventura Blvd. in Camarillo. The event, coined as interfaith but open to all, is sponsored by numerous local faith-based organizations, participants in the harvest as well.

Lunch and live music by the youth band Guys in Ties will follow the field work.

“Our intention is to join together as neighbors to create positive relationships in our community through service, generosity and gratitude for our shared earth and its bounty,” stated the Rev. Julie Morris, event coordinator of the Labor Day Harvest.

The event is free and open to all. Register early for better planning for organizers at www.LaborDayHarvest.com.

Morris talked about the mission of bringing people together.

Why is it important to bring people together?

When a crisis or disaster hits our community, or when members of our community are threatened because of their race or religion, we need to be able to respond quickly in support of and in defense of each other.  A quick response requires prior relationships with one another. We need to know each other, to care about each other and to recognize that we need each other.

What do the people of different faiths have in common besides the fact that they are human, have faith and are picking food together?

People of faith have in common the values of compassion, generosity, feeding people who are hungry and caring for the earth, our shared home. We also have in common the desire to offer our youth alternatives to the dominant culture’s over-valuing of material success and individual achievement at the expense of social and environmental justice and caring for one another.

Why would a person without faith want to attend?

We are careful to advertise this as an event for “people of all faiths and no faith” because we recognize that there are people of goodwill outside of organized faith traditions who share in the humanitarian concerns of building strong communities, serving those in need, caring for the earth and appreciating the labor of those who work throughout the food system.  

Why should they go now versus in the past?

Many individuals and families have made this their annual Labor Day tradition. Some have told me that this is their very favorite event in Ventura County all year long. We expect many repeat attenders as well as people who know they need to do something positive now. They are tired of news about violence and division and recognize that one solution to hopelessness is to get out and do something with others and for others. We are especially encouraging youth and young adults to take a break from their screens, come out to the farm, get their hands dirty, meet some new people and enjoy a delicious lunch and live music.

The Fourth Annual Interfaith Labor Day Harvest takes place on Monday, Sept. 2, at the Abundant Table Farm, 1012 W. Ventura Blvd., Camarillo. To register and for more information, call 888-707-6513 or visit labordayharvest.com.