Who does not love it when they get lots of helping hands?  That is right, no one!  We were blessed today to have not just one person, but 17 wonderful teenagers to help in any area we needed.   I took part of the group with me to help on a project we are working on.   Our local women’s shelter is where one of our community  gardens is located.  The shelter serves abused women and their children.  The garden helps to feed these women and children and cuts down on the grocery bill for the shelter.


The boys pulling weeds



The boys and I set out to clean the beds and amend the soil with some compost and organic peat.








Adding soil amendments and mixing it in



The boys hand pulled the weeds and grass and then added the amendments and hand mixed and tilled the soil.








Deciding where to put the plants



Then we decided the design of the plants.  They were so excited as most of them had never seen a garden let alone planted a plant in one.








Putting the plants in the ground




Each one chose their favorite vegetable to plant.







Watering the plants in.



Once they were finished with the planting, they watered the plants in and placed stakes beside the tomatoes and peppers for them to grow on.








Shelter staff member showing the veggies shared with them by another gardener.



While we were at the Shelter, another one of our community gardener’s (jail garden) arrived with some surplus vegetables to share with the ladies.  That is what our community is becoming, one big happy, sharing family!











The helpers with one of their finished beds.


The young men were proud of their hard work. When we were finished, the shelter gardens contained tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, squash and several herbs.   The staff at the shelter was so happy with the gardens and could not believe they were finished as fast as they were.








Working in the food bank gardens


Mean while, the other part of the group was hard at work at the local food pantry garden. As you can see in the pictures the center where the pantry is located is short on room for much gardening.  We decided to make the best of the space by constructing raised beds and creating a bucket garden.  The helpers weeded and watered the gardens and buckets.  The beds contain carrots, cabbage, broccoli, onions, lettuce.  The buckets contain tomato plants and pepper plants.  In the far end you can see garbage cans that have been converted to potato barrels.







Working in the bucket garden and the raised beds




What an outstanding use of space.  This small area should produce lots of fresh veggies for the people coming into the food bank.






Lots of work was accomplished in a short amount of time.  Proving just what can be accomplished with a few Helping Hands!!



Waynette Harness, UT Master Gardener