“Gardening is a great fitness effort…speaking of new year’s resolutions.”-Caryn Hutchinson

Since its initial cultivation over 7 years ago, the GRACE Community Garden has grown an average of 3,000 pounds of fresh produce each year. Led by Becca Clarke, Caryn Hutchinson and Alison Shumaker, Garden volunteers tend the beds to bring harvests of tomatoes, potatoes, okra, peppers, corn, strawberries, tomatillos, and other bounty.

Volunteering at the Community Garden is a healthy and rewarding way to provide wholesome nourishment for families in need. Volunteers are needed to assist in clean up, preparation, planting and tilling to ensure another fruitful season.

“We need about fifteen people for some crucial dates coming up,” said Caryn, a certified Texas Master Gardener. Volunteers are needed on Saturdays, January 7 and January 21, to help clean up and prepare the beds for planting.

“Depending on the weather, we’ll start around noon and work until we’re done,” said Caryn. The long-range forecast for Saturday, January 7 calls for a brisk day, highs in the mid-40’s and a light wind out of the northeast.

Gardening with Caryn and crew is a truly valuable learning experience, as well as a strong conditioning drill.

“Volunteers have said that gardening with us taught them lots of ‘how-to’ that they used at home,” said Caryn. “Besides, gardening is a great fitness effort…speaking of new year’s resolutions.”

Volunteers on Saturday, January 7 will pull spent plants and chop them into compost; add leaves to compost and turn the compost piles. For a little more strenuous exercise, a new raspberry bed will be marked off, cleared and readied for planting. Other projects include spraying dormant oil on fruit trees, and doing some selective pruning of the trees.

Volunteers are also needed for early-spring planting on February 4, when the gardeners will be planting carrots, onions, potatoes, cabbage, garlic, cilantro and parsley, perfect for a hearty soup in the fall! Click for a full Planting/Tending Schedule for 2017.

Garden workdays are ideal for families, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, employee volunteer projects and church community groups.

Interested groups or individuals can use this Sign-Up Genius, or email Lara Hohweiler, the GRACE volunteer manager, or call 817-305-4653.