California Ward Garden Acts as Missionary and Teaching Tool

LDS Garden
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The following was written by Amber Clayson for Deseret News. 

Latter-day Saints in Carpinteria have been busy planting the seeds of missionary work in their backyard.

What started out as a chest-high, weed-infested lot behind the meetinghouse for the Carpinteria Ward in the Santa Barbara California Stake has turned into a community garden where members of the Church and community gather to harvest the fruits of their labor.

The ward garden has been around for more than 30 years, but has recently opened to the community and picked up popularity in the ward.

Gardener and ward member Ron Peeleman said the garden has blessed the ward and paved the way for members to talk about their beliefs with community members as well as become more involved in the community.

“It breaks down those barriers,” Brother Peeleman said. He explained that the community’s perception of the Church had not always been the best, but has greatly changed since the instigation of the communal garden.

“People had these preconceived notions, and what you have now is people coming together wearing blue jeans, getting their hands in the dirt, exchanging seeds, sharing plants, seeing each other not as LDS/non-LDS but just people. It just brings people closer together.”

Read Clayson’s full article on

Kylie is a writer at and graduate of BYU with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She grew up in a Chicago suburb where she gained a passion for the Chicago Cubs. She enjoys writing and live event video production.