BFFP has provided small grants to over 40 faith communities, religious schools, and other faith-based organizations to help create vegetable, fruit and herb gardens that can help to improve our food system.
Blessing Services and Spiritual Connections
- Catholic Blessing of Fields and Gardens by the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops has prayers and readings to use in the midst of a garden or field. Scroll down to find “Rogation Days.”
- Christian Garden Blessing Service by the Web of Creation. The blessing service contains prayers, Bible readings, songs, and an entire service for the blessing of a garden.
- Spiritual Growth through Domestic Gardening, by Al Fritsch, Appalachia Science in the Public Interest. This book is a practical and spiritual guide to gardening through the seasons that elucidates how the simple act of gardening is a catalyst in creating a new Eden.
- Unitarian Universalist Blessing of the Garden by the UU Society of Sacramento. This service was created to bless the Society’s garden in Sacramento, but could easily be used at any Unitarian Universalist congregation.
- ZERA’IM: Jewish Community Gardening Resource Manual: Created by the Pearlstone Center, this manual provides a wealth of information about how to organize a community garden along with technical advice to get your community started. The manual also highlights groups throughout MD that have created community gardens as examples.
- Growing Faith with Food: A Summer Camp Curriculum for Kids Aged 5 to 11 Years by the Baltimore Food & Faith Project. This interfaith curriculum consists of ten themed modules with a collection of prayers, songs, games, crafts, activities and recipes meant to help connect children to growing and eating healthy food and caring for creation.
- Jewish Children’s Garden Curriculum from the Asheville Jewish Community Center has 32 lesson plans ranging from soil exploration to summer solstice to Sukkot to animals in winter, all tied to Jewish values as seen through the lens of gardening.
- Catholic Community Gardens provides resources for Catholic parishes and other faith-based community churches to help them plan a garden.
- Earthkeeping Ministries: A New Vision for Congregations by Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This book was designed as a congregational toolbox and includes ideas for starting or enhancing a hands-on congregational earth keeping ministry and practical suggestions, instructions and resources for gardening as a ministry.
- Let’s Move! Faith and Communities: Community Garden Guide from the USDA Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. First Lady Michelle Obama has challenged congregations and neighborhood organizations to plant gardens in their communities. This guide provides ideas for how to get started planting a garden, where to find technical assistance and funding, and ideas for teaching kids how to garden.
- Starting an Urban Garden: Peah Gardens/Corner Plots, by the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL). Provides ideas for starting a synagogue garden, promoting urban agriculture, etc.
- Why Every Church Should Plant a Garden… and How, by A Rocha USA. Has ideas for engaging the congregation, planning the garden, fundraising, and using the garden for educational purposes.
- To Till It and Keep It: New Models for Congregational Involvement with the Land, by Dan Guenther, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Land Stewardship Project. This publication explores various models for church-sponsored agricultural stewardship projects, such as community supported agriculture, youth gardening, , church food purchase policy, seed saving, preservation of farm land, and environmental tithing.
- American Community Gardening Association has all sorts of resources to help groups start a community garden, from practical tips for community gardeners to examples of land use agreement forms, release forms, how-to manuals, and evaluation tools.
- Composting for Congregations by the Baltimore Food & Faith Project teaches congregations how and what to compost and gives ideas for how faith communities can make composting fun.
- Glossary of Gardening Terms University of MD Extension has a comprehensive list of gardening terms that can prove useful when reading about and planning a garden.
- OrganicGardening.com is maintained by the Rodale Institute, a research farm that has been studying organic agriculture for decades. The website has growing guides and expert advice on pests and disease, making compost, and garden design.
- Garden Planners help gardeners design and plan their gardens, year after year. They help with crop rotation by keeping a record of what was planted where and when, automatically allow for the space required for each type of plant, and usually link to a planting calendar specific to your hardiness zone.
- The Climate-Friendly Gardener: A Guide to Combating Global Warming from the Ground Up, from the Union of Concerned Scientists shows how to reduce the impact of climate change by choosing to garden in certain ways and not others.
- University of Maryland Extension – Home and Garden Information Center: This site provides free, research-based, sustainable gardening information to Marylanders.