Volunteer efforts are beginning to take shape at the Montague Community Garden. Residents and volunteers have transformed the area that is home to pomegranate and peach trees, Groovy Grape butterfly bushes, blackberries, raspberries, tomatoes, squash and other native plants.
But with the permanent change of station season, the Montague garden president and residents have moved onto their new duty station.
Offering a helping hand to keep up with the garden and lead cleanup efforts is Jamie Colon, president of the Comanche Community Garden and a Fort Hood Family Housing resident.
“As the garden president for the Comanche Community Garden, I feel it’s given me a chance to be more involved in the community and help housing residents to enjoy what we have to offer,” Colon said. “Gardening is an activity for me to do with my family and feel good about giving back to what has been given to us though the Army life.”
With the help of volunteers like Tammy Kibler and her 9-year-old son Jayden Garcia, Colon has spearheaded an effort to clear planter boxes full of weeds and grass and restore it as a garden for the next planting.
“It’s really a fulfilling feeling to be able to come together with other volunteers and get a little dirty to give back to the community,” Kibler said. “The cleanup will help open up new beds to allow others to be able to plant more tasty food.”
Kibler said she and her son look forward to enjoying the garden with the kids and new friends every Saturday.
“It’s a fun experience the whole family can enjoy, and it’s also a great opportunity to learn things about gardening that volunteers can take home and use in a garden of their own,” Kibler said. “Not only does the garden club provide fun and education for the kids, but it also introduces them to fruits and vegetables that they help grow that they might not have tried before.”
Jayden echoed his mother, encouraging others to join them at the garden.
“It’s fun to help the community,” he said. “Come to the Kids Garden Club to come help people!”
As part of the Kids Garden Club, young gardeners meet once a week at the Comanche or Montague community centers for about an hour to volunteer in the community gardens.
“It’s make me extremely happy to see everyone come out to the garden and lend a helping hand and for me to personally get to know each of our volunteers on a personal level,” Colon said.
Throughout the summer, young gardeners will learn how seeds grow, how to start a garden and tend it and how to harvest what they grow.
“Some people might feel like they don’t have the time or the skills, but I really encourage everyone to try something new and to come out and benefit from the community gardens’ fruits and vegetables, while making friends,” Colon said.
At the end of their cleanup efforts, volunteers harvested blackberries and raspberries from the garden.
The Montague garden will continue beautification efforts throughout the summer. The Comanche garden will host the Kids Garden Club on Saturday at 10 a.m. at either Montague or Comanche.
For more information, visit the Montague Village garden club and Comanche III community garden Facebook pages.