The garden yields a wide variety of produce each year

The members of Leon United Methodist Church have always taken the time to get their hands dirty and help with the community garden. This year, they’re encouraging members of the town to grab the tomatoes by the vine and adopt their own garden plot.

“This year we are doing things a little differently,” said garden spokesman Donna Wilkenson. “We are going to let people adopt a bed to plant their own gardens. They will be responsible for all the maintenance of their plots as far as weeding, watering and pruning. We will also have one big patch where we will plant community potatoes and tomatoes.”

The garden volunteers, much like the variety of vegetables grown, come in all shapes and sizes.

“The local grade school has offered to come and plant our potatoes for us,” said Wilkenson. “They also furnish all our tomatoes. They grow their own and help us plant them in our garden.”

The garden yields a wide variety of produce each year, which is given to community members in need.

“We plant our potatoes in the early spring,” explained Wilkenson. “When the weather gets warm, we plant several different kinds of lettuce, carrots, radishes, tomatoes and green beans. Several years ago, we planted cantaloupe as well. That year, we ended up with 30-50 cantaloupe. When the vegetables are all ripe, we give them to families in the community. Just last year we gave bags of potatoes to 30 families in the area.”

The care of such a large garden and maintaining the plots is a lot of hard work.

“We use volunteers for all our planting,” said Wilkenson. “Last year, we had a local garden club volunteer to help us plant. Most of the seniors that need the produce are getting to where they are no longer able to help work in the gardens, so we are in great need of volunteers.”

The planting season will officially kick off on March 17 if the weather holds out.

“We begin to plant our potatoes in very early spring,” said Wilkenson. “Once all the beds are tilled, we will just have to wait until the weather signals it is the right time. We should be able to start planting on March 17 or a little after. In Kansas, sometimes the weather is hard to predict.”

For more information on how to become a volunteer or otherwise help with the garden, call 316-321-6056.


Kari Adams can be reached at