Community Garden?

Our church sits on a sizable chunk of land in pretty much the center of town.  We have multiple buildings on that piece of land – a large sanctuary, a large, separate fellowship hall, an 8-classroom school building, an old A-frame building complex that was the original church back in the 1950’s, and two large parking lots.

We also have a pretty good amount of unused green space.  Bordered by trees and fencing, but otherwise open, and grassy in the Southern California-we-can’t-afford-to-water-it-but-if-God-does-we’ll-let-it-grow sort of way.  Since last June – when the public charter school that rented our school building & grounds from us for a year moved out to their own campus – I’ve toyed with the idea of using all that empty space for a community garden.  I’m poor at estimating, but perhaps there is half an acre of open land – perhaps more than that – which seems like it could be put to far better use.  At this point, any use would be better, but a use that could build bridges to the surrounding neighborhood and provide food in the middle of a huge economic meltdown seems to me like pretty much a no-brainer.  
I’ve started doing some research on how to go about this.  Some of it is common sense (like talk to your community to make sure this is something that they’re interested in doing).  Some of it is not so common sense (soil preparation?  What do you mean, it’s sitting right there!).  But we have a dear friend who is a botanical and gardening genius.  If he’ll get on board, then maybe we could line up some places like the local hardware stores to help donate fertilizer and composting bins and a day’s worth of rototillers and seeds or plantings.  
I just can’t make sense of a church not doing anything to acknowledge or respond to the situation our community and nation and world is tumbling into at the moment.  We don’t have much money or other resources, but we have some space.  I figure it belongs to God anyways, it only seems right to grow something that could help His people out.

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