Salvos IDEAS Crowd


by Rowena Smith | 11 months ago | in Archived Ideas
Open Ideas/S2 - Dec19-Jan20

SAGE stands for Salvation Army Garden Engagement.

Where there is land available on SA Corps or Social Centres, vegetable gardens can be established with the aim to provide a connection point for people in the community. Funding from the grants can be used for construction materials, soil, tools, etc and the installation of a water tank and fences as required.  

Small plots could be allocated to individuals/families or larger plots could be used communally. Salvo personnel would oversee the management and be present  in order to build relationships and engage in potential faith conversations.   There are already SA properties that are embracing this concept (See the Facebook link provided by Matt Seaman for Salvation Army, Farming, Gardening and Ecology Network )

 However, if grants were available, more places may be able to develop a SAGE ministry.   The inspirational testimony of Mark at the Harry Hunter Recover Centre, Garden of Hope is worth viewing on this link

 The project could provide other opportunities of benefit for the Kingdom eg; Community meals for the participants using the produce grown or even just a weekend BBQ as a way of gathering the participants together.   A Farmers Market activity could be held periodically.

SAGE would also provide a wonderful opportunity of connection with children.  A program called Kids in the Garden could be birthed......using the same concept as Kids in the Kitchen...where children attend a weekly class over a period of 2 months.  This program would have numerous benefits, helping children get active and away from their electronic devices, engaging with nature, seeing results for their work, building their confidence and self-esteem, learning about healthy eating.  Produce grown would be of the fast growing variety so children would be able to harvest their produce towards the end of the program.  A special celebration could be held where families of the children are invited to a presentation where the children receive a certificate and enjoy a meal using some of the produce. The children could participate in a short presentation which includes a powerpoint showing the week by week progress of the garden and explaining what occurred....and what they enjoyed about the experience. A small thought could be included eg drawing a connection between nurturing plants and nurturing children. A cactus planting workshop could be included in the childrens program - planting cactus in quirky containers (from The Family Store). This could link in with Mothers Day so the children take home a gift for their mother....or perhaps the cactus could be sold at other corps activities to raise funds for Self Denial...teaching the children about generosity and compassion.

Other groups could be formed as relationships develop eg; Growing Together (a discussion group/Bible Study)  There are lots more creative possibilities for ministry that could be developed.


What department are you from?

Women and Families Secretary - DHQ Brisbane

Who is your target market?

community people, families, children

edited on Oct 28, 2019 by Elizabeth Bland
Rowena Smith

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Mervyn Holland 11 months ago

A great idea Rowena.
This is a great example of finding a need and meeting it.
Every person has to eat and SAGE is a most practical and attractive tool of engagement and involvement.
People are coming into fellowship and faith through the community garden at Rouse Hill Region corps land at Nelson. its potential is limited only by people's availability and willingness to see this as a practical ministry opportunity.
As our Founder said: "You can't preach to a man on an empty stomach".


Deon Oliver 11 months ago

Great Idea Rowena. Let's make it happen


Ciska Burrie 11 months ago

And we in Volunteer Resources could organise corporate volunteers to help set up the gardens! Bunnings could potentially supply materials (and people power) and what about Woolworths with their seed pot give away? This could be the logical next step for them! (PS TSA already has a relationship with Bunnings and Woolworths so perhaps float this with Corporate Partnerships)


Shelley Soper 11 months ago

Thanks Rowena! SAGE is an awesome concept that has so much potential for community involvement on so many levels. Menai has had a community garden at the front of the corps with so many more opportunities.. thank you for your ideas.


Fiona Crawford 11 months ago

This is an awesome idea Rowena. So many ideas to connect people and purpose


Elizabeth Bland 11 months ago

Great idea Rowena !


Bruce Harmer 11 months ago

Connecting with local community through SAGE is very similar to connecting with community over a shared meal or other shared experience. There is an environment created through a community garden that breaks down walls and draws people together. Much like a shared meal.

The largest issue we face as society today (although not always acknowledged) is social isolation. SAGE is the perfect, non-threatening environment in which we can reconnect with people who live within our community, who we would otherwise have no connection with. There are so many other benefits of SAGE. The learning of new skills, the personal feeling of achievement in passing on new skills to others, the emotional and psychological benefits of planting, keeping and reaping the harvest.

I would support SAGE totally and hope that we can see this initiative progress toward realisation across the Salvation Army landscape here in Australia. The logo does have an incorrect shield though. Maybe change that out some time :-) A great idea Rowena!


Calie Messenger 11 months ago

Great idea Rowena and love the name!


Sandra Crawford 11 months ago

Great idea Rowena. Look forward to hearing it has progressed further:)


Annette McMahon 11 months ago

A fantastic idea!! I love that this embodies the Values and Mission of TSA. Would be great to see this get the 'green' light.


Beverley Oates 11 months ago

Fabulous idea Rowena,
It is a great way of gathering people together from young children to Aged Care. It can teach young children to taste different herbs, vegetable, fruit.
Nothing like eating a small tomato or bean from a vine or strawberries from a patch.
My grandchildren have a vegie patch at home, they love helping and eating whatever they are growing becomes ripe.
Our local nursery at Brookfield has a restaurant attached with its own vegetable patch. Visitors walk through to the restaurant. Chef is often seen gathering from the vegie patch for his menu. How good would this be for our own SA Centres to bring community together. I would love to be involved in a project like this Rowena.
Love the name, SAGE, it is so appropriate.


Robyn Smartt 11 months ago

Hi Rowena
This is a fantastic and practical idea. We have seen this work first hand at a rural Corps in south west NSW.


Graham Liddle 11 months ago

Awesome idea!


Annette West 11 months ago

Great idea Rowena. May it commence to enable people to enjoy community and the fruits of their labour.


Steven Smith 11 months ago

I love this idea, what a beautiful way of bringing people together and using land.

I discovered a community garden this year that focuses on plants that are native to the region. They grow seeds of these kinds and raise them to be used in local gardens.


Steven Smith 11 months ago

Would you say the grants could be called ‘seed funding’


Jodie Sutcliffe 11 months ago

Fantastic idea! I really hope that this idea will go further to other places also. We have a small community garden at our corps but really believe it’s something worth developing more. From Jodie Sutcliffe


David Bowtell 11 months ago

This is BRILLIANT! The ability for so much social, psychological, emotional, physicao and SPIRITUAL support is endeless. Particularly for MEN who often need to be DOING something to speak openly. This is the reason the MENS SHED is so successful.


Glenn Price 11 months ago

Good to see credit given to Matt Seaman. I remember speaking to him about this idea as the CO in a Nambour back in 2012. This is a great idea to link the community and church. This could become quite a popular Outreach.


Rowena Smith 11 months ago

Hi there viewers,

I've found some more great links which show what an impact SAGE could have in a community.
Heres a link to a church in USA with a very effective garden ministry.

And here's a link to a website with information about the benefits of community gardens which also includes some great short videos.

Thanks so much for your interest and your comments. I'm encouraged.



Rita Biermann 11 months ago

Great Idea! Bryce Davies created a community garden for the people of Villawood in NSW, as a way of bringing the people together, Has been a great success. This would be a great opportunity to get other organisations involved in the community i.e Bunnings, Garden centres etc. Suitable for all generations.


Brad Whittle 10 months ago

Really dig this. ;)


Rowena Smith 10 months ago in Dig in the garden??.....oh that is funny Brad. Thanks for supporting the idea.


Neri Morris 8 months ago

Status labels added: RDL, Open Ideas/S2 - Dec19-Jan20


Neri Morris 1 month ago

Status label added: Archived