EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON
After eight years next to The Helping Center of Marble Falls, the community garden is pulling up roots and could use a little help itself.
“The Helping Center is going to be part of the new community resource center, so they’ll be moving,” said Suzy Rowley of the Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association, which created and maintains the garden. “With that, we’re moving the garden, but to Trinity Episcopal Church.”
An anonymous donor has committed up to $2,400 toward the project to match donations from the community.
The Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association started The Helping Center community garden in 2011 to grow vegetables for food pantry clients as well as highlight gardening techniques and provide instruction.
With the pantry relocating from 1315 Broadway to the 1100 block of Broadway, the Master Gardeners had to find a new place for the garden, and the church offered space at its 909 Avenue D location. The move brings with it a new name: The Garden powered by the Highland Lakes Master Gardeners at Trinity Episcopal Church.
The mission, however, remains the same.
Rowley said produce will still go to The Helping Center, and the Master Gardeners will continue to offer educational outreach programs, probably even more of them.
The new location has about the same amount of space as the old, but it’s on more level ground, making it more efficient, according to Rowley.
“We’ll have twenty-four raised (garden) beds with four of them designed for people who are handicapped,” she said. “We’ll also have at least two keyhole gardens, and there’s space for fruit trees.”
A keyhole garden is a small, circular raised garden with a composting basket placed in the center. The compost replenishes the soil as scraps and water are added to it, typically on a daily basis. The new location will also incorporate a 60-foot-by-30-foot in-ground plot.
Rowley sees a chance for the Master Gardeners to reinvigorate their outreach with more classes and programs at the Trinity location. She said several businesses are helping with a new building and rainwater collection system at the new site, but more funding is needed. That’s why the $2,400 matching contribution is so important.
The donor will match up to that amount with funds going toward the rainwater collection and irrigation system.
“With this rainwater system, we’ll be able to collect water off the roof of the church,” Rowley said. “We’ll probably get a lot more rainwater there than at (the old site).”
Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association members hope to have the new location ready for a spring garden. If you can’t donate money, volunteers are always needed and welcome, even if you don’t have gardening experience.