LINCOLN — The Lincoln Community Gardens are recruiting volunteers for the 2023 season and will be holding a Community Gardens Meeting at the Lincoln Public Library on Tuesdays at 6:30 PM to provide more information.
Jim Sposato, who manages the gardens with Lincoln’s Judy Cohy, also reminds residents that they can have a small plot in the area to plant and care for their own gardens.
“We always had it from the beginning, but we didn’t have takers,” Sposato said. They can help us or have their own area.”
The Lincoln Community Garden is now in its eighth year and is an all-volunteer organization. Produce from the garden is provided to Lincoln’s Grace Place, a ministry started in 1998 and supported by the local church.
In 2022, community gardens provided nonprofits with vegetables including 3,325 tomatoes, 3,585 bell peppers, 1,363 okra, 472 sweet corn, 229 pounds of potatoes, 106 pounds of onions, and 218 cucumbers. Other produce included yellow squash, radishes, green beans, pumpkins, lettuce and herbs.
Sposato is already working in the garden with volunteers to prepare the land for spring planting and greenhouse improvements. Sposato plans to grow vegetables in greenhouses this year before moving them to the outside garden, he said.
A typical work schedule is 9-11 am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and we need volunteers to help with planting, clearing leaves and weeding the garden. Repair fences damaged by deer. and harvest vegetables. Anyone who volunteers can take produce home for personal use during harvest season, Sposato said.
Sposato says the 2022 garden season has been tough. Vegetables like constant water, not too much and not too little, constant temperature, not too hot and not too cold.
Volunteers at the Garden each year include EAST classes at Prairie Grove Middle School and St. Thomas’ Catholic Church in Fayetteville. The trustee of the county jail also helped.
The garden was named 2016 Project of the Year by the county’s master gardeners. In 2021, Sposato was named Mentor of the Year and Cohen was named Mentee of the Year.