First United Methodist Church Maumelle is forming a community garden and is inviting Maumelle residents to reserve a raised bed for their families. Sizes of the beds are 4x4, 4x6, 4x8 and 6x6. An annual fee of $20, $25, and $30, depending on size, will be charged to cover water and maintenance. As part of the mission of the garden, a portion of everything grown will go to local food pantries to help feed those in need in our community.

Groundbreaking for the garden will be at 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 4 with Mayor Mike Watson attending. Construction will begin the following weekend with a dedication in September. Fall planting can begin as soon as the beds are ready.

Community gardens can provide education as well as food for your family. They can serve as an outdoor classroom where students learn valuable skills such as math, communication, responsibility, cooperation and environmental responsibility. Academics Plus Charter School and Pine Forest Elementary have both reserved a section for their schools as a part of educating their students.

The mission of First Fruits Community Garden is to provide an educational community garden for the purpose of improving the health and wellness of Maumelle, building community and educating residents about nutrition and providing food to those in need. As a part of that, the church will provide quarterly seminars beginning with Beth Phelps of the Cooperative Extension Service talking about starting a Fall garden at 6:30 pm on August 28.

To find out more about the garden or to reserve your raised bed, call First United Methodist Church at 851-2377.