While it helps greatly to seek donations for food or to glean from crops, having a home or community garden is a fun and cost-effective way to get fresh, healthy food. You may start a family garden ministry at your church, or use available land to provide a community garden.
During the planning stage, consider the following questions:
- How much time and effort are you willing or able to put in?
- Do you have an area for the garden that gets at least 5 or 6 hours of sun each day?
- Do you have a source of water for the garden?
Find a garden site. Do a soil test in the fall. Check with your local Cooperative Extension office for soil sample analysis. Check if the land is contaminated and if water is available.
Ask around for supply donations, e.g. Lowe’s, Home Depot, Wal-Mart Gardening Center, Ace Hardware, tractor supply companies or local gardening and hardware stores. Here are some supplies you may need:
- Gardening gloves
- Scoops, shovels and/or spades
- Storage sheds
- Pest control
Talk to local farmers and seek their expertise and advice. They may also have extra tools to borrow.
Gather volunteers to prepare and develop the site. You will need to:
- Clean the site
- Develop your design and set a visible perimeter
- Arrange for land preparation
- Plan a storage area for tools and equipments and a compost area
For a more comprehensive guide on planting and maintenance, read this guide http://baptistsonmission.org/missions/by-type/agriculture
Advertise to the local community to enlist garden volunteers. Set specific times to open the garden.
- Be prepared to get your hands in the dirt!
- This project requires time and effort. Be prepared to dedicate your time in making the garden grow.
- If possible, consider planting a prayer garden with flowers adjacent to the vegetable garden.