It is time to get out into the garden and start planting for the summer. Not surprisingly I am deep into every catalogue and new book I can find on gardening. And this year there are lots of them because every man and his dog seems to have joined the community garden frenzy. I am delighted to see new gardens springing up all over and new resources constantly becoming available so I thought that it was time to expand and update the list.
This is a much more complete list than I posted last year and adds a few not included in To Garden with God. If there are other resources you would recommend please add them as comments below .
Resources for Creating a Faith Based Community Garden
- Montgomery Victory Gardens: Tips for Starting a Faith Based Community Garden
- The Brown Bag Series sponsored by the Community Partnership Project at the University of Missouri-St. Louis: Faith Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships in the Age of Obama
- North Carolina State University Community Gardens: Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina: Growing Communities Through Gardens
- Seattle Public Utilities Natural Lawn and Garden Care provides a variety of downloadable resources including:
- Garden planning
- Sparks in the Soil
- The Pumpkin Patch Community Garden
- Five Loaves Farm
- Sustainable Northwest: Interfaith Network for Earth Concerns
- Sustainable Traditions
- Faith & Food: Biblical Perspectives (United Methodist Church)
- Food and Faith blog (Presbyterian Hunger program)
- For those interested in food, faith, and gardening in the Twin Cities, visit the Facebook page created by the Faith-based Edible Gardening Collaborative.
Some resources from my friends at ARocha Canada
- The Vancouver Community Agriculture Network www.vcan.ca: an excellent community garden manual available on their website – a good, thorough guide to starting and running a community garden
- The American community garden association www.communitygarden.org
- City of Vancouver Community Services Social Planning Department www.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/socialplanning/initiatives/foodpolicy/projects/gardens.htm: a website with an extensive list of resources, links, etc. for community gardening.
- City Farmer www.cityfarmer.org: a veritable treasure trove of information on all manner of urban agriculture information
And from Matt Freer in England
- Grow Zones – a community growing resource started by Earth Abbey in the UK, that brings people together locally to help one another grow fruit and vegetables in their own gardens. Participants are supported by the Grow Zones Kit, which is designed to make the prospect of growing fruit and vegetables a less burdensome, more enjoyable prospect and overcome the obstacles to ‘growing your own’.
As well as my own book To Garden with God, you may also find the following books on spirituality and gardening helpful
- Farming as a spiritual discipline
- The art of the commonplace: The agrarian essays of Wendell Berry
- Craig Goodwin: Year of Plenty
- Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette, A Monastic Year: reflections From Monastery
- Vigen Guroian: Inheriting Paradise: Meditations on Gardening
- Wendy Johnson: Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate: At Work in the Wild and Cultivated World
Resources-Curricula for Churches / Faith communities
- Just Eating? (Presbyterian Church USA curriculum for middle schoolers and adults)
- Congregational Tool Kit – Land Stewardship Project . This kit contains videos, resource materials and activities for small and large group gatherings with a focus on building healthy communities by linking people with their food, the land and each other.
- Let’s Move Faith and Communities launched by Michelle Obama provides some excellent resources including this toolkit which contains good basic information on community gardening
- The US Department of Agriculture also has some helpful resources available including this start up community garden guide
- Master gardener programs which exist throughout US and Canada are a great resource for volunteers, advice and expertise. I heartily recommend contacting your local branch to see if there is a volunteer who might assist your garden’s development.
- Harry Wyman from the Peace Tree Community in Perth has started a global permaculture network. I love the concept of permaculture and hope that we will be able to implement many of its principles in our garden at the Mustard Seed Village