Deciding to have a church garden is the first step in a long process toward a harvest. If you have a master gardener in your congregation, then you have a natural leader for this ministry.
For churches without gardening expertise in their congregation, a church garden can still be a fun and welcoming ministry that supports local communities. All you need are some resources that can help you plan, fund, and manage your new garden wisely.
These are the proven resources that will help you to create a church garden which can thrive.
Start Planning Your Church Garden Today with These Resources
A Rocha USA: Founded by Ginny Vroblesky, this organization offers a full brochure of information that takes you through all the steps to consider. There are ideas on how to engage people, thoughts on how to encounter creation, and an appendix on garden plot registrations and land use permits.
Aggie Horticulture: In conjunction with the American Community Gardening Association, this website gives you access to a comprehensive fact sheet on what it takes to start a community garden. There are numerous bulleted key points to consider, taking you from the planning stages of the garden to your first harvest. You’ll find a full list of various fact sheets and articles that can help you with local research on garden establishment as well.
Arrive Ministries: This Christian non-profit agency helps to create ministries which empower local immigrants and displaced refuses. They see a garden as an opportunity to have everyone be able to tell their personal stories. By showing how a garden can transform itself with hard work, despite adversity, people can discover how to conquer their own challenges in life as well. It is an affiliate of World Relief and Transform Minnesota.
Baptists on Mission: This ministry uses its own experience in planning church gardens to help others create their own space. They offer relevant advice on the tools you’ll need for the garden, where to find community resources, and helpful tips and resources that can give you a head start on the project. They also have a comprehensive overview of their agricultural ministry and a look at how to create short-term mission trips which focus on gardens and farming.
Create the Good: This resource looks at gardening from a DIY perspective. It gives you a list of things to do, including what to talk about when you get to kickoff this ministry with your first meeting. It will also link you to various supplemental resources, including additional DIY projects that you could turn into new ministry opportunities. You’ll also discover the process on how to share your produce with your local food pantries.
ECFVP: This denominational resource offers several worship resources that can be used in context with a church garden program. There are links to green churches and information about climate change to review on their site as well. It provides an opportunity to help embrace more of the spiritual concepts that can be taught within this ministry.
Faithful Families: This organization takes a look at the church as a whole, encouraging you to make the most of your resources that may be unused. Not only can you build a garden, you can use your land to host a farmer’s market. You could even lend your land to a local farmer to create produce if you prefer. There are several other areas of practical advice to consider here as well.
Falls Church Garden Club: This faith-based garden club was founded in 1950 in Falls Church, Virginia, and features growing zone advice, weed identification information, and other plant identification tools. You’ll find information about working with specific soils, blog posts on caring for plants, and numerous other items of practical advice. This is an excellent resource option for urban churches who are looking at container gardening as well.
LDS: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints offers some basic advice on how to plan a garden, including fertilizer ratios, to help your new program gain a level of self-reliance. You’ll find advice on emergency preparedness, responses, and food storage as well on their website.
Operation Noah: This program offers ideas on how to encourage your church to become more engaged in environmental concerns in a gradual, information-based format. Numerous resources, including tips on raising awareness and working with church grounds, are available. Founded in 2004, the goal of this program is to help provide care for creation while restoring it when possible.
Local Resources for Your New Church Garden
A church garden brings your congregation together in a unique ministry. Not only can you use the garden to help feed the hungry, you can encourage neighborhoods to become self-reliant and encourage environmental restoration.
These benefits have not gone unrecognized by local communities. You will find numerous local resources may be available to help you build an amazing garden. Here are some of the people you can speak with for practical advice about this ministry.
- Local nurseries, farms, greenhouses, and garden supply centers.
- Community-based organizations which promote gardening, homesteading, or farming.
- Land reclamation organizations that know how to transform small spaces into gardens.
- Farmer’s markets and organic growers who source local foods.
There are national-level resources which you may find to be helpful as well. One of the most comprehensive guides for establishing a garden is offered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Are You Ready to Begin Gardening?
The Bible often uses gardens and gardening as the foundation of teaching moments. From the very beginning, humanity was encouraged to enjoy the environment a garden provides. We might toil in the soil to encourage seeds to spring to life, but we are also participating in the miracle of creation and life as we do so.
Gardening brings people together. It provides teaching moments that encourage growth in wisdom while encouraging practical vocational skills. Gardens feed the hungry, bring the hurting together, and offers an opportunity for worship.
Use these resources to help get your ministry started today.