Good News Gardens

A collaboration with the Diocese of Western Michigan and Plainsong Farm, the Good News Gardens movement grows good food for God’s people using church-owned property.

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.

A partnership with Plainsong Farm, the members of our Good News Gardens cohort 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.

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.

Required Assets

  • 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.

Church Cohort Resources And Lessons

Your Growing Season

  • 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.

Contact Person

Katie Forsyth
Canon for Evangelism & Networking 
kforsyth@eastmich.org