HOISINGTON — After two years of bountiful harvests, Teddy Williamson, 72, is ready to retire from her job as the volunteer director at the Hoisington Community Garden.
“I had never gardened vegetables,” said Williamson. “I had some people who had good advice.”
Arming herself with recommended plants from Kansas State University, and doing a lot of reading and planning, the garden has been successful from its start.
In 2012, they raised beans, 106 lbs.; beets, 264 lbs.; broccoli, 42 lbs.; Brussels sprouts, 9 lbs.; cabbage, 22 lbs.; cantaloupe, 222 lbs.; carrots, 158 lbs.; corn, 67 lbs.; cucumbers, 277 lbs.; okra, 328 lbs.; onions, 110 lbs.; peppers, 15 lbs.; potatoes, 788 lbs.; rhubarb, 8 lbs.; acorn squash, 12 lbs.; butternut squash, 47 lbs.; yellow squash, 71 lbs.; zucchini squash, 308 lbs.; tomatoes, 408 lbs.; green tomatoes, 32 lbs.; turnips, 53 lbs.; and watermelon, 161 lbs. In addition, a canning and processing class was offered.
“I like to learn new stuff,” she admits. Although she is retired from her job at the hospital, she continues to do parish nursing at her church.
The garden is now easy to water because of the soaker hoses. They also have a shed and have some seeds from last year, “enough to get the garden started well,” said the former director.
“The biggest part is getting volunteers and coordinating volunteers,” said Williamson. Plus, additional plants will need to be bought. The soil has been plowed since last season, and they’ll be needing volunteers to help with planting, weeding and harvesting this year.
Williamson wrote three grants to pay for seeds, plants and equipment.
The vegetables grown are distributed through a vegetable stand. The cost is a free will offering. For those who worked in the garden, they could have vegetables for free.
In addition, produce was donated to the Food Bank, which is open once per month in Hoisington.
“It’s a ministry of love aimed at our neighbors,” said Williamson. “Well now we need a new director to guide the volunteers in this effort.”
Call Kris Brinlee or Teddy Williamson at the United Methodist Church in Hoisington at 620-653-4065.