The Helping Center holding Festival in the Garden on May 3

LINDA POERNER AND BETH MORTENSON • SPECIAL TO THE PICAYUNE

MARBLE FALLS — Come join the community, volunteers and sponsors as they celebrate the start of another successful year at The Helping Center of Marble Falls garden, a project sponsored by the Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association.

Festival in the Garden is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. May 3 at the center, 1315 Broadway. See the amazing work the volunteers do to benefit members of the community who are in need of fresh, healthy produce.

Since its inception in 2011, The Helping Center’s garden has grown almost 8,000 pounds of fresh produce that has been distributed by the center.

The garden project was initiated by a few hardworking Highland Lakes Master Gardeners, who started with a piece of land filled with scrub and bamboo. They began by working a few raised beds to provide fresh vegetables for the food pantry. In the past three years, the project has developed into a very large and exceptionally productive garden that won an International Award in 2013 from the national Master Gardener Association.

Join the fun and enjoy the music as you take a tour of the garden and see demonstrations on composting, mulching, drip irrigation, rainwater harvesting and more. Also, see the keyhole garden and Japanese rings planted with vegetables and herbs and the native plant bed with native flowers and grasses.

Would you like to pet an alpaca? Longneck Acres will show two 6-month-old — and very cute — alpacas and also set up a booth of information. Visit other booths offering nutritional information, sign up for door prizes, buy chances to win more prizes or just enjoy a walk through the garden.

Enjoy and learn about all of the latest trends in gardening. And help your community by bringing a canned food item for The Helping Center food pantry.

Email Beth Mortenson at bmorte@gmail.com or Pete Smith at nrstds@verizon.net for more information about the event. Go to www.burnetcountyhighlandlakesmastergardener.org for more information about the Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association.