Trumann garden serving need and fighting blight

TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - The Trumann garden project started by members of First United Methodist Church is almost ready for the first harvest.

"We have okra. We have corn. We have green beans, squash, radishes, zucchinis, tomatoes, watermelon, black eyed peas, purple hull peas, green beans, sugar snap peas," said Pastor Jeff Weaver.

"There is a big need here in Trumann to help people feeding their families, and so this will help to fulfill some of that. We're going to be giving it out here in the community and also what's left over will go to the Trumann Food Bank."

Weaver went to Trumann Mayor Sheila Walter's office to ask about any vacant lots in the city where the church could plant the garden.

"This property that the community garden is placed on actually had five houses on it at one time that were all condemned, all torn down. The property went back to the land commissioner and the land commissioner gave it to the city," said Mayor Walters.

Mayor Walters said the two and a half acre garden project is the beginning of revitalizing areas with vacant lots.

"Six months ago Wes Wagner, who is our state representative, gave us $30,000. With that $30,000 dollars right now I have seven properties that have been condemned that are on my list to tear down. We're getting them out of town."

The city is also providing free water for the project. Weaver hopes the help from the city, volunteers, and local businesses is fertile ground for an ongoing community effort.

"We hope to set up like a farmer's market, but it's going to be not for sale. It's going to be for give away. So anybody can come out and help theirselves and utilize the garden."

For more information about the garden call First United Methodist Church at (870) 483-5441.

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