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Community garden quick to take root

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Pinewood Hills is teaming up with Meals on Wheels to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to the hungry, and based on the participation level, almost everyone wants to get involved.

Through a program called Sharing the Harvest, the Flower Mound retirement center has created a community garden to provide produce to the local charity.

Sales Manager Gail Peacock said the idea came about based on a need in the community.

“Meals on Wheels has been looking for somebody to contribute the land for quite a while,” Peacock said. “We have a huge backyard area, so we were ready to take that project on to help our residents as well as the community.”

Peacock said the response from the retirement center has been phenomenal, with about 75 residents getting involved, and said they will be doing an assortment of activities to help maintain the garden.

“The residents are helping to water, as well as tending to the vegetables and fertilizing if they can,” Peacock said. “They are also going to be picking off the harvest and sharing it with the Meals on Wheels people.”

Peacock said that many of the residents who had gardens in the past stepped forward to volunteer for the project and Meals on Wheels was ecstatic about the news.

“They are so happy, because this has been on their list for a long while to get accomplished,” Peacock said. “Debbie does a great job and has a lot of contacts, so it all kind of just fell into place.”

Debbie Morrison, Project Coordinator for Special Projects for Meals on Wheels, said the fact that Pinewood Hills will be donating fresh fruits and vegetables to her charity means a lot to a lot of different people.

“It is just awesome,” Morrison said. “We did a survey with our participants, and they overwhelmingly were interested in fresh produce. When they are on a fixed income, one of the last things they are going to spend their money on is fresh produce that doesn’t last very long.

“When we started doing Sharing the Harvest, you would not believe how many people there were so moved that people were willing to share tomatoes and peppers and lettuce with them. It means a lot to these participants.”

Pinewood Hills began moving dirt on the project on April 11, and Enrichment Coordinator Tara Puckett-Partin said the residents are really enjoying working the community garden.

“They go out and check it all the time and always ask about it,” Puckett-Partin said. “They are taking a lot of pride in it. We’ve got people donating things and a lot of people are getting involved.”

Contact Gail Peacock at Pinewood Hills for more information at 972-355-8844.

 

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