Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

June 4, 2013

Growing ‘gardens’ requires volunteers

JACKSONVILLE — Supplies to help create “gardens of hope” for residents at Cherokee County nursing homes have started to come in, now all that are needed are volunteers to help set up and plant these container gardens.

Not only would these folks help free up employees from sponsoring businesses, who last week set up a container each at Jacksonville's Gardendale Rehab and Nursing Center and the Cherokee Trails Rehab and Health Care facility in Rusk, it would truly become a community effort by bringing together generations of citizens, said Betty Lou Smith.

“My thought is that it would give everyone something in common in our communities,” said Smith, who initially proposed the Garden of Hope to her husband, Joe Smith. The couple, who operate the Joe Smith Plant Farm in Jacksonville, joined forces with the Lone Star Military Farmers to launch the garden effort late last month.

The Garden of Hope, she explained, is more of a ministry than a project, giving nursing home residents an opportunity to once again enjoy a favorite past-time in a way that wouldn't put much stress or strain on their bodies, because the containers are actually hip-high galvanized tubs that sit high enough for wheelchair-bound residents to easily care for.

“It would be both fun and awesome mental therapy,” a hobby for residents to look forward to as they monitor the success of their gardens – which so far have been planted with produce like tomatoes, cucumbers, Swiss chard and peppers, as well as marigolds, which serve as aphid-deterrent for the tomatoes (also known as practicing companion gardening) – she said.

Nursing home administrators earlier said that their residents were excited about the venture, looking forward to a chance to once again employ their green-thumbs, while bringing back fond memories of tending the gardens they raised as home-owners.

While businesses like the Smith Plant Farm – along with Jacksonville Auto Glass, Heath & Heath Hardware and Gibson Signs, as well as organizations like Spooktacular Bull Bash, and the Lone Star Military Farmers – are throwing their weight behind the Garden of Hope by providing plants and materials needed for the container gardens, one essential element is still lacking: Help to put these gardens together.

Ideally, individuals 15 and older would donate their time to help load and unload the tubs, soil and plants being transported to the nursing facilities, then assist with setting up the tubs and their contents for the residents, assisting senior gardeners as requested.

“They can help for a day, or whenever we're setting up these containers, or someone can help for the duration (that a residential home has these gardens),” Smith said, explaining that the Garden of Hope is an open-ended venture. “This fall, we'll be redoing the containers with fall vegetables and flowers, so help will very much be needed.”

She specifically mentioned this garden ministry as an ideal one for youth groups or church groups that do community service, although all volunteers will be welcomed.

“It's a good way for people – especially our youths – to get to know others in their community,” Smith said.

To learn more about becoming a sponsor – or setting up a Garden of Hope at a nursing home, contact either Joe or Betty Lou Smith at 903-586-2931.

Sponsorships for the container gardens are ongoing, Smith said: For $400, a full sponsor will provide everything for a complete raised-bed container, and will have their name placed on the container. $250 will provide a single container; $100 provides dirt; and a $50 sponsorship will supply plants used for the project.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • RuskProtestMain.tif Rusk protest highlights views concerning border issues

    Several Texans gathered Saturday in Rusk -- not only to protest the recent federally-sponsored flood of illegal immigrants into the U.S., but to demand state officials to do something about it.
    Nearly 20 concerned citizens gathered at the intersection of U.S. highways 69 and 84 Saturday afternoon, waving flags and hand-lettered signs asking for secure borders and better action on the matter.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • RISD board mulls $16M budget

    Local school board members are considering a $16,671,955 proposed general fund budget for Rusk ISD's upcoming fiscal year – which begins Sept. 1 – but are nowhere near close to adopting the budget, said Lesa Jones, assistant district superintendent for finance and operation.

    July 22, 2014

  • National Night Out to return to Jacksonville

    National Night Out ( NNO) festivities will be returning  to Jacksonville this year.
    Jacksonville Police Crime Prevention Officer Detective Tonya Harris said all Jacksonville residents are encouraged to participate this year by sponsoring or attending a National Night Out party on Oct. 7.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tina_Baggett.tif Gallatin resident seeks help with expenses after diagnosis

    A Gallatin woman and longtime employee at Prosperity Bank is about to undergo the first stage of procedures for stem cell harvesting.
    Tina Baggett, 51, became unable to work in February due to complications from multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bullard group rallies behind alcohol petition

    A petition calling for a city-wide city election this November that would make all areas of Bullard wet, including those which fall in Cherokee County, has proven successful, as more than the required 221 signatures have been collected.

    July 19, 2014

  • mom and kids_6776.tif Jacksonville woman celebrates 100th birthday surrounded by family, friends

    Ethel Terry, a lifelong resident of Jacksonville, celebrated her 100th birthday with an open house on July 15 at the Twin Oaks Care Facility in Jacksonville.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cemetery grass.tif Extra rainfall produces more abundant lawns, extends hay season

    Steady periods of rain this summer have been a homeowner's dream, as lawns appear more lush than in previous years.
    But for city workers, that same growth has taken on nightmarish proportions.
    “It's a maintenance nightmare,” said Ben Briley, director of the City of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Department.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cherokee County arrests: July 8-14

    The Daily Progress will publish a list of arrests from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office on a weekly basis.

    July 19, 2014

  • Detective recovers nearly $7K in case

    When a Jacksonville woman became a victim of a scam, Jacksonville Police Detective Greg Compton stopped at nothing to solve the case.
    In early January, Compton said a neighbor of a 94-year-old woman reported that someone had “taken advantage of her.”

    July 17, 2014

  • Bullard ISD names interim leader

    During a meeting Monday night, the Bullard ISD Board of Trustees appointed Joe Dan Lee as Interim Superintendent.

    July 17, 2014