"We have a well at either end to water the crops," she said, noting that before it was being done by a truck pulling a water tank behind it. She noted that this was not working out well and they knew that the garden would require an irrigation system.
She also noted that on Friday of last week, the time was spent putting in tomato stakes. "You take twine and build the support network for the tomato plants. We got all of the stakes in and we had donated stakes from the company that serves Walmart. They gave us stakes and then we ran out and we got 100 from Ken-Mo, so there's a lot of tomato stakes out there," she said, adding, "We got about half way through building the support network. It's very tedious, labor intensive, so we're still working on that."
Graham added that Walmart also donated to the garden a metal carport that it wasn't using that will serve as shade for the volunteers. It has already been delivered and set up.
"This will be really great when we have produce to sort through and to bundle. This will be a nice shaded area to do it in," she noted.
When asked about when she thought the crops would be ready, she said, "The peas have already set. They are small peas on the pea vine. We have watermelon, maybe five or six inches long now. Late Friday before we finished, Ken-Mo gave us a donation of plants. It's kind of the end of their season and these were ones that were left over. So, we planted cucumbers, squash, cantaloupe, banana peppers, green beans, and eggplant and sunflower seed. That's in addition to what we already have."
Already planted are peas, beans, okra, tomatoes, and two kinds of peppers, bell and jalapeņo.
Graham noted that there's usually around 12 to 25 volunteers on days that there is work to be done.
"It varies. We've had them as young as 10 and 11 years old. They're some of our best workers. The children and grandchildren of some of our members have helped us now that school is out. We've also had a group from the Community Supervision Center that's been real helpful to us." She added that this past weekend there were three juveniles from special program which also helped them out at the garden.
"We have appreciated that and I think they've had a good time, too," Graham noted, adding, "It's a different environment and everybody just gets along so well. It's been a good experience for them."
Distribution of the produce will include Helping Hand, Senior Nutrition Center and the Back Pack Program at South School.
In a previous article, Graham said that long range, the community garden hopes to expand to a community kitchen sometime where people will be taught how to prepare food, how to store food, how to freeze it, and how to can
Those organizations involved in the community garden include First Presbyterian Church of Kennett, St. John's AME Church, Lighthouse Church of Jesus Christ, First Christian Church-Disciples of Christ, Philadelphia Church of God and Christ, Philadelphia Church of God and Christ Outreach, The Bridge Church, First United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, Slicer St. Church of Christ, St. Cecilia's Catholic Church, Northside Missionary Baptist Church, Kennett Ministerial Alliance, University of Missouri Extension Service and Nutritional Program, Kennett Public School District #39 and Opaa Food Management (Summer Food Program), South School Backpack Program, Kennett Housing Authority, Dunklin County Commission, Dunklin County Justice Center, Board of Public Works, Dunklin County Caring Council (this is the garden project's parent organization), Kennett Senior Nutrition Center, Helping Hand Food Bank, Family Counseling Center, Dunklin Day Activity Center, Cotton Boll Sheltered Workshop, Virgie and Leonard's Place, Kennett Autism Support (KAS), Heritage Nursing Center, St. Francis Park, Southhaven, The Haven, Cotton Boll Commons, National Health Corp. of Kennett (NHC), Lions' Club, Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club, Jaycees, United Way of Kennett, Azalea Garden Club, LaFemme Club, VFW, Delta Fair Board, Azalea Garden Club, PEO CY Chapter, PEO HU Chapter, Antique Tractor Club of Kennett, Eagles' Club, Local Masonic Lodges, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, Eagle Scouts of America, KHS Service Groups (Key Club, K Club, National Honor Society, DECA, FBBLA), Bootheel Retired Teachers Association, AARP (Cape Girardeau Chapter, National Active and Retire Federal Employees (NARFE), Emerson, Ken-Mo Agri Center, Monsanto, Baker Implement, Delta Bee Company, Baker Farm and Hardware, Haggard Farms, Bean Farms, Donald Lynn Farms, Ross Farms, Frey Farms, Kennett Garden Center, Garden Sanctuary, Kennett Farmers' Market, and the Downtown Kennett Revitalization Program.
In closing, Graham offered these comments, "We really welcome anyone who would care to volunteer to help us. If you work in a garden, you just feel good about yourself plus you get some really good produce," she said.
If interested in participating as a volunteer, or making a donation, please contact the Dunklin County Caring Council at (573) 717-1158 or to make a tax deductible contribution, please mail a check to DCCC-Garden, 311 Kennett Street, Kennett, Mo., 63857.