Lin­coln gar­den grows big­ger, bet­ter

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - LYNN KUTTER

LIN­COLN — Many fam­i­lies are sup­ple­ment­ing their meals this sum­mer with pro­duce from Lin­coln’s com­mu­nity gar­den.

The fruits and veg­eta­bles grown in the gar­den are do­nated to Grace Place in Lin­coln to hand out to fam­i­lies in need.

Through June 29, the gar­den has pro­vided rasp­ber­ries, 178 pep­pers, 178 toma­toes, 14 cu­cum­bers, 392 pota­toes, 106 onions, 50 gal­lons of kale and 146 radishes to Grace Place, ac­cord­ing to Jim Sposato, who over­sees the gar­den for Lin­coln.

“I think it’s gone great this year,” Sposato said. “We give it to people who can use it. There are a lot of people who need fresh veg­eta­bles who can­not af­ford it.”

As pro­duce is har­vested, it’s left at the door at Grace Place to be di­vided and packed to hand out to fam­i­lies dur­ing the week.

Sev­eral groups help Sposato but he needs vol­un­teers to weed the gar­den and pick pro­duce on the 4½-acre plot. Sposato said vol­un­teers are needed to help for sev­eral hours be­gin­ning at 3:30 p.m. on Mon­day, Wed­nes­day and Fri­day nights.

The gar­den is in its third year and has sup­plied food to more than 1,000 fam­i­lies.

This year’s gar­den has some new items. Sposato is grow­ing kale, corn, radishes and rasp­ber­ries. Other veg­eta­bles grown are pep­per, yel­low and zuc­chini squash, cu­cum­bers, toma­toes, pota­toes and okra.

“We try to grow stuff people are go­ing to eat,” Sposato said. “We’re grow­ing kale this year be­cause it is good for you.”

Sposato also in­creased the size of the gar­den this year. Rows are 180 feet long and the gar­den is 80 feet wide.

Kim Igo, Grace Place di­rec­tor, said pro­duce from the gar­den is given di­rectly to clients.

Grace Place is open three days each week to help those in need. Hours are 6-8 p.m. Tues­day, 9 a.m. to noon on Thurs­day, and 9 a.m. to noon Satur­day.

The min­istry’s food pantry is at 200 W. Park St., in Lin­coln. A thrift store is open to the pub­lic across the street.

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