Community Garden = Community Gathering
Thanks to Christa Meland of the MN Annual Conference UMC for sharing this note in MNConnect.
I am unable to link to the brief article, so here it is, verbatim:
“This past summer and with the help of a grant, Willmar UMC started a community garden that brought together people in its community. One couple tilled the ground, another person planned out plots (including two handicapped [sic] ones), someone else installed a water line, one member got tanks and fencing delivered, someone installed a sign, and another member organized and maintained a garden shed. Nine gardeners planted, and at the end of the season, 23 people came together for a potluck dinner consisting of dishes made from what they had grown. Each gardener was grateful for the space and opportunity, and the church has decided to add two additional plots and expand the size of the plots for next summer.”
Garden plots are a wonderful way to create community, develop and strengthen food autonomy, and instill creation care convictions.
Build on a garden plot with:
- recipe swaps attuned to harvest times
- canning/preserving/freezing classes to ensure know-how for excess produce
- networks of single parents and/or community members with limited access to fresh produce (who may also, then, benefit from recipes and preservation trainings)
- introductory and maintenance opportunities for ‘fresh’ gardeners (children, teens, or adults)
- community potluck for all home gardeners to share from their harvests
- community-wide tutorials and trainings for at-home gardening
- encourage other organizations to also develop garden plots
- explore the intersections of food sovereignty, racism, climate change, women’s rights, and poverty
You might develop partnerships with local organizations working on food sovereignty. Some we know of include:
- Slow Food Minnesota (its own great list of organizations & chefs)
- North Country Food Alliance
- Anishinaabe Agriculture Institute
- Dream of Wild Health/Indigenous Food Network
- Harvest Nation
If you have questions, visit with The Ministry Lab’s Bridgette Weber, whose passion and expertise in this area are a gift!