Hi! I'm trying to convince a local church to consider planting a community food forest. They're great people but some of them are concerned that fruittrees will somehow drive away members of the congregation. It would help if some local people would show up and help me convince them of local support and interest. Basically I need to show them that it's not a totally crazy or radical thing to consider.
When you reach your lowest point, you are open to the greatest change.
You don't need other people to convince them, just open up the good book and read. Whats better to convince then the word? Let's see, it was writen He created a garden, and we are to be alot like Him. It was writen we were planted in a garden and or to tend gardens; we are to feed the hungry, we are to labor from the ground for its produce, we are to bring our first fruits of the harvest, and the list goes on. Many of the parables are about agriculture, and how can you teach to understand something like agriculture unless you actually experience agriculture?
Food for thought, and if all of what's writen doesn't convince them, just know it's seed falling on the wayside or amongst the cares of this world.
I am in SW washington. Our church has a lot of open space and I have discussed the concept of a forest garden with a number of people in the church, including the pastors and the landscaper. With their blessing I planted an apple tree guild as kind of a proof of concept (the guild is doing great).
Several people were interested in growing and harvesting food for our local food bank. So I reached out to the food bank, explained the concept, and asked what types of food would be best to grow for them. Their answer was "anything!".
However nothing else has happened, because some of the most interested people moved, the landscaper found a better job, etc. My wife won't let me drive it, she thinks I spend too much time on our own food forest (she is right ). I would still be willing to help with the design and provide plants and advice though.
The property next door is a small, upscale senior living facility (formerly a B&B). I envisioned an herb and vegetable garden next to them, to entice their chef to visit frequently and take what they want, and in return the chef would report any issues they saw in the forest garden.
If you have a forest garden, you should invite people from the church for a visit so they can see it and quiz you about it. If not, see if you can find one nearby that you can bring them to.
To make it happen, you will need to do most of the work IMHO. Recruit volunteers, organize work parties, do the design, find the plants, etc. It might be good to figure out what goals you have in common with the people in the church. E.g. the food bank idea was of interest to a lot of people in the church. The ideas in the previous posts are also good.