Sparrow House Victory Garden Offers Nutritional Benefits


Victory Garden for Sparrow House


Although the idea for a produce garden had been planned for several years for the Sparrow House Food Pantry at 907 South 3rd Street in Lamar, it took 18 months, donations, volunteer work and some on-the-job training for the garden to come to fruition.

Opening day was this past Saturday, September 16th, and all the efforts paid off in a bountiful harvest that will continue to offer fresh produce to local residents for years to come.

As Veronica Jacoby expressed recently, “The garden is not a community garden, but more of a victory garden – in the original sense that it is established to help make food rations go further, with an emphasis on volunteerism and as a morale booster.

Since April, our serving has doubled, going from 800 people per month to over 1,600 currently.  Unfortunately, we have always lacked fresh produce, but with the garden, over the past few weeks, Sparrow House has distributed hundreds of pounds of peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and some herbs.

The garden was funded in part, by a major grant from the Colorado Garden Foundation last year in which they select only one in the entire state of Colorado per year.  A grant from the Rawlings Foundation and local funds also assisted.  Funds spent on the garden were appropriated especially for that purpose which did not take away from the food program.  It has been a challenge to obtain bulk food since COVID, and we are glad to be able to be proactive in a solution for fresh produce in the future.”

Veronica Jacoby (r)


Most of the playground equipment that was still serviceable was removed and repurposed, plus tree stumps and tons of concrete, plus a chain link fence had to be dug up and removed and that was done with the help of the City of Lamar, Prowers County and Dewitt Excavating which provided the proper slope for drainage.  All of the 31 foot growing beds were assembled indoors and moved to the garden area to be connected to four individual drip lines, covered with prepared dirt and seeded and planted. Joel said the planting was done a little later than they would have liked, but there has been substantial growth over the last month.

A lot of planning was required to space the planters through the area, from laying the irrigation system, setting aside a future greenhouse site, literally creating dirt that would be used and tons and tons of gravel, all strategically placed and strengthened on the acreage for best growing results and drainage.

The victory garden uses chemical-free well water from the property connected to a fertilizer tank for drip irrigation and the water usage can be regulated as growing conditions require.

Joel Jacoby mentioned it would be nice to have an array of flower beds lining the fence, but food needs went first, although the produce garden will attract bees and butterflies for continued pollination.

Veronica and Joel Jacoby would like to see the garden used as a learning experience for students/adults that desire to learn gardening and tours can be arranged by reserving a time and date for a viewing.
By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureCity of LamarConsumer IssuesCOVID-19EventsFeaturedHealthWaterWeatherYouth


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