You are invited to join a cohort of congregations across our two dioceses, working to grow good food and grow stronger relationships with God, our neighbors, and with one another as disciples of Jesus.
We know the long term economic impacts of coronavirus will carry forward into the rest of 2020, 2021, and further. This is one way that our churches can use our assets to further the kingdom of God and provide for their community season after season.
A partnership with Plainsong Farm, our Good News Gardens pilot cohort will receive starter seedlings, weekly garden education with co-founder Mike Edwardson, and weekly theological reflection with co-founder, the Rev. Nurya Love Parish. The network is open to any congregation, whether you’re continuing a garden or starting your first one.
And you’re invited to join us on Monday, May 4th at 11am on Facebook Live as I sit down with Nurya to reflect on why a project like this one is needed for a time like this.
As people who study scripture, we know that life begins and is restored in a garden. Our experience in the garden enables us to grow as God’s people. The food we grow together can help feed our people and our neighbors.
Please join us. This is crucial work for this time.
The Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr.
Bishop, The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern & Western Michigan
WELCOME & GETTING STARTED
Space for a 75 foot garden plot in full sun and with access to watering (sprinkler system, hose, or reliable volunteers!)
A designated coordinator to serve as point person and program lead.
A team of volunteers (3 or more, any age) to provide garden care throughout the growing season.
Prayer and support for the garden team from the wider congregation.
YOUR 2020 GROWING SEASON
The pilot season of the Good News Garden network will take place during the summer of 2020. As this is our pilot season, our goal is to grow gardeners! We will ask you to weigh your harvest, but we measure success by your church’s engagement and feedback, not by how much food you grow.
PREPARING – Identify the space for your garden and your growing team. Consider how you will distribute your produce (food pantries, etc.)
LAST WEEK OF MAY – Regional distributions of seedling packs to cohort congregations. Drop-off locations will be determined by the geographical spread of the network. Click here for a list of provided seedlings.
FIRST WEEK OF JUNE – Plant seedlings.
WEEKLY – Plainsong Farm Co-founder, Mike Edwardson, sends out a weekly live Q&A and video to the cohort with garden education and live Q&A.
WEEKLY – Plainsong Farm Co-founder, the Rev. Nurya Love Parish, sends out a weekly live Q&A and video to the cohort with theological reflection on the relationship between discipleship, environmental literacy, and access to healthy food.
WEEKLY – The congregation prays for their growing team and for the people that will be fed. The team shares their experience and theological learnings with the wider congregation.
TWICE PER WEEK – The garden is tended by the growing team and any community partners.
MIDSEASON – Check-in and program evaluation with the cohort.
LATE SUMMER/EARLY FALL – Harvesting! Share your bounty with your neighbors, a step towards improving community health and self-sufficiency.
OCTOBER – Final check-in and program evaluation with the cohort.
CHURCH COHORT RESOURCES AND LESSONS
In this pilot season, the Good News Garden network is open to any church seeking to begin or expand an existing garden. Please use the form below to join the cohort. Sign-ups will be live until May 21 or until our available seedlings are claimed.