Have you ever thought about how many times some aspect of growing things is worked into Bible stories and scriptures outside of the context of a story? From vineyards to fields of grain. From olive and fig trees to food products that are grown, things that one can grow are mentioned quite a bit in the Bible.
Your ministry and the children or teens served by it can learn quite a bit from having a garden on your property. It’s great if you have a lot of land you can use, but you can still plant useful things in a smaller garden with raised beds or even in containers that can be moved depending upon the weather.
Here are some of the plants you can grow and some of the possible lessons your Bible students can learn from growing them.
- Grapes. You only need a couple of vines to grow grapes. This is definitely one where having some land can help. As they grow, you can show them to students as you tell the story of Ahab and the vineyard or as you explain about the pruning and fruit process described in the New Testament.
- Fig trees. These are easier to grow than you might think and produce fruit more quickly than many fruit trees. Watch out for animals though, as deer and others love figs as much as people. Fig trees are mentioned several times in the Bible as well as being a popular food in those times.
- Olive tree. This is tricky. Olive trees need a specific climate to do well. They also grow slowly. You can find affordable ones that are small and plant them in a container that is moved as the weather changes. Olive trees are mentioned in the Bible as well as olive products which were a part of the average diet during Bible times.
- Cucumbers, leeks and melons. Popular foods that are mentioned in the Bible, they can also be grown as a service product and shared with those who don’t have access to them.
- Herbs. Mint, dill, cumin, coriander and other herbs are mentioned in the Bible. They can be used in cooking authentic dishes for students to try and for their smells to involve the sense of smell as you tell stories in which they were mentioned or might have been used.
- Reeds, papyrus and mandrake. These reed type plants figure in Bible stories and of course papyrus was processed to make the paper on which scrolls were written. They are easy to grow in most climates – although some need quite a bit of water.
- Rose of Sharon, mustard plants, mallow. These plants can provide color to your garden (mallow is from a type of hibiscus). You will need to check varieties to make sure you get one that is as accurate as possible. Some employees of nurseries can help as can an online search.
Have fun with it, but planting a Bible garden can extend learning and give students an opportunity to serve others as they tend the garden and share the produce with others. It is a great addition to add value to your ministry.