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Harvesting to make a difference

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The Community Garden provides fresh fruits and vegetables to two local charities, and director Rich Lubke said the Lewisville area garden truly embodies the concept of “community.”

The garden donates its produce to the Salvation Army and CCA, and Lubke said the idea for it came about through a need he saw.

“I volunteer at the Salvation Army kitchen, and I was told fresh fruits and vegetables were in short supply because they have to be bought and cash is also in short supply,” Lubke said. “Since I am on the Upper Trinity board of directors representing Highland Village and the Upper Trinity has 105 acres, I suggested we allocate some of the land for gardens.

“There was an overwhelmingly favorable response. Within a few days, a perfect three acre parcel was set aside for the gardens.”

Lubke said that Knight-Light Charities, Inc. (KLCI) and the Upper Trinity Regional Water District partnered to develop the garden, located at North Kealy Road and Treatment Plant Road, and said a couple of other companies did their part as well.

“Walmart grocery and Sam’s Club not only contributed the money to get the program started, they added muscle by actually doing the labor to build Phase I, the first 24 garden plots which measure 80-square-feet each,” Lubke said.

“Their contribution paid for all the soil, compost, tools, shed, etc. They are a very generous partner. Lowe’s Home Improvement of Flower Mound added 26 more gardens in Phase II; they supplied an incredible amount of labor and supplies.

“The partnership of these two companies has extended beyond the gardens. Walmart donates pallets of food every week, and the Lowe’s store recently had a peanut butter drive and their employees donated over 300 jars to the Salvation Army.”

Lubke said the Community Garden has provided immense help to both Christian Community Action in Lewisville and the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen this year.

“The Salvation Army served over 15,000 meals this year alone,” Lubke said. “We are hoping to make their meals even healthier going forward. CCA’s pantry also helps thousands of folks that are experiencing hard times.”

Lubke said that the people that work the gardens are primarily those that want to provide food to local charities, including members of the Highland Village City Council and Highland Village City Manager Mike Levitt, and said there are currently 20 gardens not assigned.

Lubke said the plans for the upcoming year include teaching people how to properly maintain their plots to maximize their efforts.

“Part of the program involves training, so folks can learn good organic techniques,” Lubke said. “Plus a wonderful park like setting so families can spend a few hours together. We have ample water, fresh seeds, the best soil and compost. All tools are supplied. The initial time requirements involve preparing the soil, planting and watering. Then weekly visits for a few minutes of maintenance.”

Contact Lubke at 469-831-2086 or rlubke@tx.rr.com.

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