Mineral Wells Area News

Last Minute Decision Will Keep Community Garden Growing

Last Minute Decision Will Keep Community Garden Growing
March 31
08:02 2023

Stage 2 Of the Drought Contingency Plan will be implemented on April 1st and that means no outdoor watering at all, with the exception of pets. The News of the watering restrictions was devastating to the Let’s Grow Crazy Community Garden, who just kicked off their second growing season, with the addition of 12 more grow boxes. Without water, growing food becomes impossible, so LGC Garden Director Tai Saylor quickly jumped into action for a solution.

LGC provides grow boxes for community members to plant gardens. Photo By LGC

Immediately she reached out to Mineral Wells City Manager Dean Sullivan, who is the final decision maker to determine which commercial water users will be permitted to use water outdoors for their businesses. Saylor quickly learned that per the TCEQ, the State’s governing water authority, gardens are classified as recreational, and fall under the outdoor watering ban, which meant no water for the community gardens and the City’s hands were tied.

The City did offer the LGC volunteers a few 50 gallon barrels of non-potable water to use. Saylor knew that toting water wasn’t really a viable solution, so they began looking at alternative sustainable water solutions.

The gardening group already had a fundraising event scheduled for Earth Day, April 22nd, which features a Farm-to-Table dinner event utilizing local ranchers and growers, so the LGC members decided those funds raised would immediately go to a new water source solution.

Tai and Matt Saylor spoke to County Commissioner’s the last week of March to bring awareness that LGC cannot survive without water and that food based gardens should not be considered “recreational” during water restrictions.

Fortunately, in a joyous email sent Thursday afternoon, Saylor let the gardening group know their crisis had been averted just in time before the April 1st cut off. The City and LGC had come to an agreement that will allow the community garden to continue to water.

“Good news,” said Saylor in an email to all the LGC growers. “We got water!

Saylor went on to say City Manager Sullivan is now permitting LGC to use the water for their garden beds, with the agreement they will reduce water consumption by 25%. Last year LGC uses 22,000 gallons and have already devised a plan to reduce consumption by the required amount.

Happy Growing LGC and Good Luck on a successful harvest!

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