Community Garden still growing with the help from Pioneer volleyball

PLAINVIEW – The Wayland Baptist University Community Garden got a helping hand Wednesday morning as the Pioneer volleyball team took time away from summer workouts and team-building exercises to provide some volunteer labor.

“Manual labor is good for everybody,” said Pioneer Coach Jim Giacomazzi who manned the small front-end loader, clearing some of the grass that had grown up around the elevated beds. He explained that he likes for the team to participate in these types of activities to help teach the girls the importance of helping out when needs arise.

Last spring the team helped prepare the garden for a new crop, cleaning out walkways and getting the beds ready for planting. Giacomazzi said the work on Wednesday gave them an opportunity to see the fruits of their labor.

Wayland’s community garden is an initiative designed to help provide food for families in need. The majority of the produce grown in the garden is taken to the Faith In Sharing House in Plainview.

Mark Hilliard, who oversees the garden, said the plants are just now starting to produce their summer crops.

“I guess, maybe two weeks ago, the yellow squash and cucumbers started coming off, so the harvest is just now starting,” he said.

Along with squash and cucumbers, the garden will yield cantaloupe, watermelon, corn, eggplant, black-eyed peas, green beans, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, Anaheim peppers and bell peppers. There is also a nice crop of xenias and a couple of sunflowers that add some color to the vegetation.

Cindy Horn, a senior from Germany who is recovering from off-season knee surgery, said that aside from being afraid that Coach Giacomazzi was going to run over her, it feels good to know that the work they are doing will help other people. She also joked that the manual labor has its side benefits as well.

“I can get a tan,” she said.

The Pioneer volleyball season opens Aug. 19 at a tournament in San Antonio. The Pioneers first home game is Aug. 23 against Lubbock Christian University.