Creating a Faith Based Community Garden – Suggested Resources

by Christine Sine

planting garlic

Here in the Pacific NW, it is time to get out into the garden and start planning, planting and enjoying.  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.

I am also getting ready for our annual  Spirituality and Gardening seminar. The increasing popularity of this topic makes me realize how much others crave the same kind of connections between their faith and the world around them. As I always say in these seminars: In the Bible I read about the death and resurrection of Christ, in the garden I experience it. In the Bible I read about the abundance of God’s provision, in the garden I experience. The story of God is constantly being lived out God’s world, affirming who God is and who God intends us to be. 

Like me many urban dwellers have discovered the joys of vegetable gardening in the last few years and in the process have grown in their intimacy with God. Hopefully, they start small and then as their taste buds explode with the delight of vegetables straight from the garden something strange happens and they become obsessive about converting their lawn into edible vegetation.  There is nothing quite like the wonderful sweet flavour of tomatoes picked straight from the vine or of corn that has gone straight from plant to the pot.  And to experience the delight of leeks and carrots that have been dragged out of the frosty ground is out of this world.

Why has it taken us so long to discover what people in most other parts of the world have always known – store bought food just doesn’t taste real even when it is organic and “picked from the vine”.   Even a friend of ours who is a well known celebrity chef has just discovered in his 70s that food grown in your own backyard is better than any restaurant gourmet meal.

There are many other benefits to growing your own food too. Working in the garden gets us outside into God’s good creation.  As I mentioned in a previous post on nature deficit disorder, I don’t think that we realize the consequences to our health – both physical and spiritual of lives that are spent inside under artificial light.  Insomina, depression, and of course obesity are all linked to sedentary indoor lives.

This is a much more complete list than I posted last year and adds a few not included in our best selling resource 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

Here in Seattle we have a number of amazing resources available that are applicable to other parts of the U.S and even around the world.

Seattle Public Utilities Natural Lawn and Garden Care provides a variety of downloadable resources including:

Seattle Tilth  is a must contact organization.

Montgomery Victory Gardens: Tips for Starting a Faith Based Community Garden

American Community Gardening Association has great advice on community garden basics. 

The University of Missouri has an excellent resource Community Gardening Toolkit

North Carolina State University Community Gardens has another excellent resource: Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina: Growing Communities Through Gardens

From Union of British Columbia Municipalities Dig it – A Practical Toolkit for Governments to Support Community Gardens

Garden planning

Organic Gardening

Organic Gardening 101 
Organic Gardening advice from Mother Earth 
Check out’s you tube channel for a wonderful selection of videos on organic gardening

Share your food

Lettuce links:  here in the Pacific NW helps connects those that garden with those who need it.
Ample Harvest helps connect in different parts of the country.

Some of my favourite blogs on food and faith:

Some resources from my friends at ARocha Canada

  • City of Vancouver has  an extensive list of resources, links, etc. for community gardening in B.C..
  • City Farmer 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

Resources-Curricula for Churches / Faith communities

And of course there are dozens of seed calalogues and websites which also often include very helpful newsletters and videos on how to grow vegetables.  My favourites  are:

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Lois Oberg March 28, 2014 - 4:59 am

Amazing resources, thank you Christine.

Christine Sine March 28, 2014 - 6:40 am

Thanks Lois – hope they are helpful

Leo Miele July 18, 2017 - 1:21 pm

Thanks for the resources! This is what got me into gardening in the first place –

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