One of the best things about our fair city is this: not only is there always something to do, but there’s always something free to do. Between gallery crawls and boat races and the dozens of chances to see fireworks, there is always something cool you can check out, even if you’re strapped for cash. One of those places is the Biblical Botanical Garden at Rodef Shalom in Oakland.
The garden is open every day but Friday, from June 1st through September 15th. On Wednesdays, you can explore it in the evening as well. That’s what we opted to do, catching it on one of its final nights in August. (There are no lights in the garden, so the evening hours wind down as sunset falls earlier and earlier.)
Throughout the garden, the plants are labeled by name. Anything that ‘sounds’ biblical (such as plants with ‘angel’ in the name) that wasn’t specifically mentioned in the Bible gets a brown placard. Anything that can be found in a biblical verse gets a white placard, and the verse is listed beneath it.
More edible plants. Each year, the garden has a different theme. This year’s theme was Dining with Queen Esther. In addition to seeing the edible plants mentioned in the Bible, we were given some literature which talked more about the different foods that became available via travelers coming from Asia.
The Biblical Botanical Garden is staffed with volunteers who are very knowledgeable and able to answer any questions you have. During the season, there are different events and guided tours held at the garden. But even if you don’t have time to take in a full guided tour, you can pop in for a quick stroll through the gardens and enjoy this fantastic (and free) Pittsburgh original!