When Jodi Kushins founded Over the Fence Urban Farm, a cooperative agricultural project that takes up her backyard in Columbus, Ohio, she considered it a “relatively secular endeavor.”
It wasn’t until 2018 that she started thinking of herself as a Jewish farmer.
Even then, her agricultural conversion was more a matter of getting better results than a spiritual breakthrough. As her yields diminished over time, she said, “I thought back to Hebrew school, and remembered something about the fact that every seven years we were supposed to let the land rest, and I could have used that as an excuse to take a break. So I started exploring shmita.”