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Channing Community Garden Helps Feed Local Residents

Channing Community Garden Helps Feed Local Residents

Story by Quenna Terry

Located in the Texas Panhandle, Channing is no more than a spot in the road with a population of approximately 350 residents. What this small community lacks in size is made up by the kind hearts of those who volunteer to help provide for their neighbors.

In 2008, the City of Channing sought out partners to start a garden in their local community. While the city provided the land and water for the project, community residents helped by donating their time, skills and knowledge in the effort.

Currently there are 7 to 10 volunteers that take care of the garden regularly. Produce is distributed weekly to individuals who are unable to do their own gardening, although anyone in the community is welcome to the harvest.

This year, people of the Channing community are enjoying robust vegetable crops of okra, peppers, tomatoes, cantaloupe, winter squash, watermelons, potatoes and cucumbers. Additionally, project partners say the work has brought together fellowship among residents and the sharing of ideas and knowledge.

�NRCS has provided some of technical assistance for mulching, fertilizer and drip irrigation installation,� said Kirk Dahl, NRCS District Conservationist in Hartley.
�The community garden has filled generational gaps in gardening, fresh food preparation, and food preservation knowledge.�

To add to the aesthetics of the garden and provide wind erosion protection, Spartan Junipers, Lacebark Elms, Cedar Elms, and Chinese Pistache were planted. Tree varieties came in one and five gallons containers and were planted around the garden site.

Janie Ray, local resident of Channing, contacted to the Apache Foundation to inquire about their Tree Grant Program. Ray took the initiative and applied for the grant that proved successful for the community to receive bare root saplings and windbreak trees from the foundation.

High Plains Resources Conservation and Development (RC&D) working through the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has adopted community garden projects such as the Channing Community Garden for 2010 as part of the Secretary of Agriculture�s initiative for establishing People�s Gardens.

The Channing Community garden received timely rains this year to produce a bountiful harvest.

Kirk Dahl, NRCS district conservationist in Hartley and Janie Ray, community volunteer, are two of the many volunteers who helped to start and maintain the Community Garden in Channing.

The Channing Community garden received timely rains this year to produce a bountiful harvest.

Kirk Dahl, NRCS district conservationist in Hartley and Janie Ray, community volunteer, are two of the many volunteers who helped to start and maintain the Community Garden in Channing.

Garden volunteers pick vegetables and deliver to residents in the community. Windbreak trees were planted to enhance the aesthetics of the site and provide protection from wind erosion in the future.

Garden volunteers pick vegetables and deliver to residents in the community.

Windbreak trees were planted to enhance the aesthetics of the site and provide protection from wind erosion in the future.