For economic and health reasons, more people are gathering vegetables for dinner from their own gardens. Now some North Texans without backyards are finding ways to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Community gardens are popping up in East Dallas, with two in Lake Highlands. Families that belong to Highlands Christian Church or live in the Lake Highlands neighborhood can grow their own produce at the church for just $100 per year.
Church leader Jack Carlisle came up with the idea of setting up a community garden while visiting the organizer of the first Lake Highlands community garden.
"Oh, probably last summer in the heat of the summer, I was out there sweating, and a gentleman, Jack Carlisle, walked up and said he'd like to start a garden [at his church]," said community gardener A.L. Nickerson.
"We were tired of spending the money mowing it," Carlisle said. "We wanted a use for it, and the community was needing it."
The National Gardening Association said it expects home gardening to increase by 20 percent this year, and demand is strong at Highlands Christian Church. The church's garden has 30 plots, all of which are sold-out. Fifteen families are on a waiting list to purchase plots.
Every plot has its own irrigation system. The owner of the plot provides the soil and seeds.
The church plans to donate any excess food to local food banks.