The Grace Garden came to fruition in the late spring of 2008, but the idea of a community garden to feed the hungry began far before then. Several people at Grace Community Church approached Grace staff about the possibility of starting an organic garden to benefit the less fortunate in some way. From there, brainstorming ensued and proposals were hatched.

Around the same time, Shepherd Community was looking for an opportunity to teach the children of Shepherd Community the basics of gardening, the value of hard work, and the delicious taste of freshly picked produce. Shepherd and Grace joined forces to create the garden. The garden launched to overwhelming support, but we also confronted several challenges with the distance between Grace and Shepherd.

We are currently reworking the garden structure, and 2013 promises to be a “rebuilding” year for the Grace Garden. While we work with the leadership of Grace to finalize our plans for the exciting future of the Grace Garden, we are encouraging our gardeners to partner with Westfield’s Plant a Row for the Hungry program.

The hope of the resurrection is new life – a new life for eternity, but one that is available here and now too through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We are commissioned to be a part of bringing God’s Kingdom here on Earth. God’s Kingdom is a holistic one that applies to every part of our lives, and, as Christians, we are called to give people little “slices” of what that Kingdom looks like. God is a creator first, and it is obvious throughout scripture how much he delights in all of what He has created. It is only natural then that part of the coming Kingdom is a redemption of His creation in its entirety – redemption of people’s lives, redemption of relationships, redemption of the land, redemption of the creatures He has created. The Grace Garden offers our community a little slice of what the Kingdom looks like.We spend time in community gardening organically so as to avoid damaging the land that we are stewards of, we give people in our community the opportunity to feed those in need, and we celebrate the little piece of the Kingdom that the Grace Garden provides.

We hope you’ll come be a part of what God is doing with the dirt at 5504 East 146th Street!