Rooted: Does Your Church Have a Community Garden?

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I'd LOVE to know: How many Christian Reformed congregations will be running community gardens this summer, either on church property or nearby? 

I am hoping to find out information for an upcoming article in The Christian Courier.

Thanks for any help you can offer in answering that question. If your church has a community garden, please add a comment!  

Posted in:
  • Community Engagement
  • Q&A

Let's Discuss…

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Hey, I'm CRC but serve the RCA in Modesto CA so we might not meet your qualifications.  We have a community garden year round (about 130 plots).  Nearly all of the gardeners are from the community rather than the church and it becomes their home away from home, spending the whole day or evening out there), many are immigrants from the middle east or eastern Europe.  We charge a minimal fee (30 dollars a year) to ensure that people actually use their plots and which helps cover water and garbage pick up.  (When we had no charge there were a lot of plots left barren).  The garden usually is fully occupied and people grow a lot of things uncommon to the U.S. (even bananas).  It has been featured a number of times in the paper.

Streams Of Hope in Kentwood, MI has a community garden.  This ministry is supported by the Kentwood community including (churches, schools and businesses).  Including several CRC churches.  It is a terrific ministry.

http://streamsofhope.org/neighbors/

New Life Church in New Lenox, IL this year put together a gardening team that is taking care of a garden on our property.  The produce for the garden will be given to our food pantry and other local food pantries according to schedule of harvest time and timing of when the food pantries are open to the community.  It has really been a joy to watch this team work together towards making this fresh produce available to the community.  As part of the process some of the food pantry recipients were surveyed to see what types of garden produce they would prefer.  This has been a great learning opportunity then for this team as they are learning about timing crops, caring for them, and even experimenting with new crops that they have not grown.  Some of the members now have even be serving at another local ministry that devotes a plot of land to provide food for individuals and food pantries in exchange for volunteer time on the farm.

We have a Community Garden at Calvary CRC in Wyoming, Michigan.  It is not large but it is a great connection to our community and has been flourishing for at least ten years.

Our church plant, The Table Community Church, in Denver, CO, is being birthed out of gardens in the neighborhood. We're not the traditional community garden  model but rather we do the gardening in the community. We maintain 25 different gardens that are all located in our friends' and neighbors' yards. Through the relationships formed with these garden hosts, we encourage them to take greater ownership in the gardening process from bed prep to harvest and delivery of the food. All the food we grow we give away either to local community partners (like food banks) or to individuals in our neighborhood. There's no cost to participate but we do accept donations.

Participant

Creston CRC in Grand Rapids, MI is home to the Carman Street Community Garden, which is in the midst of its fifth season. It's origin was a wonderful ecumenical collaboration with an intention for inclusion. It has been a wonderful means of community building and planting spiritual seeds with our neighbors. It was featured in the Banner back in 2011: http://www.thebanner.org/news/2011/08/community-gardens-promote-inclusio....

We have also helped to start an Urban Farm which offers fresh vegetables in the midst of an urban food desert, and employment and discipleship for local youth: http://newcityneighbors.org/ministries/farm/

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