Music for the Gardener

Music Promotes Environmental Harmony

“In the Garden,” an album by the acoustic duo of Nancy Rumbel and Eric Tingstad, raises a musical voice for a healthy environment while celebrating the art of gardening.

The album also will raise money for three nonprofit environmental organizations. A portion of the proceeds from sales of  “In the Garden,” distributed nationally by Narada Productions, will go to the Center for Plant Conservation, the National Gardening Association and the Seed Savers Exchange.

Save Kilimanjaro conservation

“I like the idea of putting a certain amount of income toward groups working to make a difference,” said Rumbel. “And we helped decide which organizations would receive donations.”

Started in 1984, the Center for Plant Conservation helps preserve rare and endangered plants throughout the United States through its network of participating botanical gardens. For example, seeds from a nearly extinct plant will be grown in a botanical garden, then the resulting plants transplanted in their native areas.

“Sometimes it’s easier for people to relate to endangered animals,” Rumbel said. “But as more and more medicinal uses are discovered from plants, more emphasis will need to be placed on saving endangered plants, as well.”

The National Gardening Association works to develop and fund education programs for children, helping them learn about plants and how they grow. Chief among its projects is GrowLab, a science-based indoor gardening program for elementary and middle school students. The organization also helps teachers share ideas and methods that are working in their classrooms.

“The garden is a beautiful, almost magical workshop to help children learn to appreciate the land,” she said. “Parents should feel a sense of obligation to provide opportunities that allow their children to fall in love with the land. Gardening, I believe, is the perfect choice.”

And finally, the Seed Savers Exchange is a network of people who offer a wide variety of seeds for sale in a 300-page directory produced by the group. Seeds handed down through generations are available to help preserve different species of plants. For instance, the directory includes seven pages of seeds for different apple trees.

“In the Garden,” the duo’s sixth album, was released last fall and has received great response so far, Rumbel said. A woodwind instrumentalist, Rumbel joins guitarist Tingstad to create music that has been called contemporary chamber music.

“When we spend so much time in our offices, cars and homes, it’s important that we remember to get out and relate to plants, the environment and the Earth itself,” Rumbel said. “Hopefully, through our music, listeners will be inspired to do just that.”

Earth Fact: Nearly 15 percent of the world’s flora is now in danger of extinction.

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