Cover of The Summer Garden Economy book

When I was a kid, every household in my neighborhood had a vegetable garden in the summer.  When the vegetables were picked, every family would use what they needed and then the rest was shared with neighbors.  With everyone having their own garden, nobody needed more vegetables from their neighbors, but that’s just how it went.  Everyone had more lettuce, cucumbers, squash, and zucchini than the entirety of New London County could eat, but sharing, because you have more than you needed, was what we did for as long as I could remember.

“The purpose of writing this story is not so much to teach or inform, but rather to inspire and motivate.  I hope to describe a milieu that is so attractive and attainable that you’ll say, “I want that.  I’m in.” “

From the introduction of The Summer Garden Economy

As an adult, I realized it wasn’t all about the vegetables.  It was more about the sharing and the personal connections that sharing brings. Everyone freely gave and received.  This ebb and flow of garden produce became the fabric of our neighborhood.  It shaped the kindness and caring that characterized the encompassing milieu of our neighborhood.  Sharing was how we built relationships. It was how we built a community.  This sharing from abundance is called The Summer Garden Economy.

The Summer Garden Economy: A Better Way to Live, tells the story of Silver Creek, a small neighborhood in the apple country of Update New York. Witness how fifty randomly gathered families respond to crisis to evolve into a growing, connected, and resilient community. Learn from the wisdom of timeless, sacred texts that offer principles for creating, and living in community. Walk away with a framework for how to live as a community that consists of one body with many members and each member belongs to all the others.  Find your copy on Amazon by clicking here.

Mike Ehrhart
Executive Director, Beautiful Mess Ministries

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reviews of the summer garden economy

Great insight!

“This book is a soulful insight to what it looks like to be the body of Christ. I love how it shows how our lives are intertwined and how each one connects with the other. Mike is a thought-provoking writer, and always leaves me wanting more!!” – Annie

A better way to live

“A feel-good message. This book was beautifully written. I loved how Mike used a storyline to support the overarching message of the importance of community and being others. This creates a great picture of how life can be if we are just aware and intentional.” – Tracey Ehrhart

Practical Christianity

“Such a wonderful book and practical way to lead with love!” – Jon Schmidt