HPT: Growing seeds of hope in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Garden

HPT: Growing seeds of hope in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Garden
A variety of vegetables can be found in the community garden like leafy greens, okra and zucchini. (Source: KAUZ)
A variety of vegetables can be found in the community garden like leafy greens, okra and zucchini. (Source: KAUZ)
The community garden idea was something Robert Thomas wanted to see sprout two years ago. (Source: KAUZ)
The community garden idea was something Robert Thomas wanted to see sprout two years ago. (Source: KAUZ)

VERNON,TX (RNN Texoma) - Zucchini, peppers, okra, leafy greens, and peas are all growing in the Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Community Garden in Vernon.

The idea was something Robert Thomas wanted to see sprout two years ago.

"It's just amazing to see them grow and how big they get," Thomas said.

Thomas is the project director. He is also a PNA at Vernon State Hospital, a pastor for 13 years, and runs Town North Learning Center. He said the community garden is a way to unify the community.

"To help show growth and plant seeds of hope into our community," Thomas said.

On June 16, Vernon residents celebrated as Dean Street officially changed to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street.

The Community Garden is right at the beginning of that street at the corner of Strahan and Bacon Street.

"By the street just being so close to the garden we decided that hey look, let's just go and honor Dr. Martin Luther King by naming the garden, Dr. Martin Luther King Community Garden," Thomas said.

What once was an empty lot is now producing a new purpose.

"Just to help motivate and educate and unify, that's what we're about," Thomas said.

Thomas said the first few months were a learning experience.

"I did grow something my poor old plants died," Thomas said, "But I'm getting the hang of it again."

A tough year to start with little rain and an abundance of heat.

"If you don't water right they may die. If there's too much sun they may die," Thomas said.

Weeds thrive in the dry, hot conditions. But one guy knew what he was doing

"I call him a master gardener, he got a little bit of everything growing in his small area," Thomas said.

To prepare for the fall growing season they are using a tarp to help stop the weeds from growing freely.

Thomas said they still have 16 plots available. A plot cost $25 for an entire year, but there are several discounts.

Senior Citizens can get a plot for $20, kids $5, and groups could get plots for as low as $5.

The dirt is provided, and they have shovels and other garden tools available for use.

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