Lime Rock community garden growing and feeding families

Lime Rock community garden growing and feeding families

The fence seen around the garden at Lime Rock Baptist Church is just one of the items purchased thanks to monetary donations, including a $7,500 charity donation won by the Valley Breeze's advertising director. (Valley Breeze photo by Jessica Boisclair)

LINCOLN - The Lime Rock Baptist Church community garden and food pantry continues to grow, serving more than 250 local families a month, and with the help of monetary donations, members of the church were able to purchase some garden upgrades.

Last year, Karen Buckley, of Cumberland, director of advertising sales for The Valley Breeze, won $7,500 for the community garden during a charity blackjack game at Twin River Casino.

Debra Cadd, chairwoman of the church's Garden Committee, said that money was used toward a variety of garden necessities and helped the volunteers tremendously.

While some of the purchases were minor, like plants and seeds, the major item purchased was an irrigation system with a built-in timer and rain gauge.

"It's so wonderful," said Cadd. "It pops up and waters for us at a specified time, and the neat thing about it, because it's on a timer, we know the plants are getting water and water during the early morning so we're not losing water to evaporation."

Cadd said that before the irrigation system was installed, volunteers would take turns going out twice a day to water the garden and make sure all the plants were doing well.

The gauge, she said, measures the amount of rainfall and stops the irrigation system from running if the garden has had enough water for the day.

"It's conservational and it frees up our time to do other things," she said.

Along with the irrigation system, Cadd said, the money was used to install fencing around the pumpkin patch and corn area.

She said they used a method called "three sisters planting."

"It's a combination of plants that do well with each other," she said. "We planted corn, and around the corn are bean plants that climb up the corn so they benefit from the stalk. Then the pumpkins on the outside."

Without a fence last year, she said, deer and other animals were able to get into the garden and eat the vegetables.

"This year we had a good amount of corn and squash," she said. "And we harvest those and provide food for the food pantry."

The food pantry is open the first and third Saturday of each month from 9 to 11 a.m., and the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 7 to 8 p.m.

Cadd said some of the money is still available for next year's garden, and with monetary donations coming in from local businesses and agencies, the church has been able to save it.

"It'll take us a long time to use that money, but it's a nice backup for the food pantry if we hit on lean times and we need to supplement the budget for the food pantry, that's what we'll do," she said.