Sep 19, 2018
Texas church harvests its 14.5-acre garden

A Texas church is has its hands full harvesting vegetables this fall.

Yielding around 20,000 lbs. of fruit and vegetables per year, the Denton Bible Church community garden supplies more than a dozen Denton-area ministries and organizations. Recipients include the homeless and low-income families. Gardening volunteers come from different parts of Texas and even out of state to help plant, tend and harvest.

Set on 14.5 acres of church land close to the main DBC campus, the community garden comprises 155 individual plots—where growers are encouraged to donate whatever is surplus to their own needs—and a large general farming area. It is cared for by volunteers from DBC, other area churches, and students from local schools.

Volunteers harvest the land three days a week, and it offers produce year-round. Vegetables include bell peppers, cabbage, eggplant, onions, squash and sweet potatoes. The fruit yield includes peaches, pecans, persimmon, plums and watermelon.

The community garden was established in 2009 by DBC member and local businessman Gene Gumfory, who was inspired by a church sermon on the scriptural story of Jesus feeding five thousand people.

The community garden harvests are “95 percent organic,” says Gumfory, a certified master gardener who oversees the project as lead volunteer in addition to his day job of running a chain of fast-food restaurants. “We don’t use any pesticide unless we have a real problem, and never spray anything on the food,” he says.

Above: Fast-food businessman and master gardener Gene Gumfory oversees Denton Bible Church’s volunteer-run Community Garden.

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