Herald-Whig View

Hannibal garden project taking root

Posted: May. 16, 2017 9:45 am

THERE'S something healthy growing these days at the corner of Adams and Sycamore streets in Hannibal.

A group of volunteers with the Victory Over Hunger Garden committee worked last weekend planting carrots, cucumbers, green onions, lettuce, peppers and squash. Produce from the garden will add fresh vegetables to some local meal programs and food pantry offerings.

Gordon Ipson founded the garden, hoping to add fresh foods to local diets.

U.S. health officials have long pointed to how important vegetables and fruit are in maintaining physical health. A recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that poor food choices -- too much sugar, salt, oils and other fats -- account for 45 percent of all deaths from heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. On the positive side of that study, researchers said fresh produce, nuts and seeds, whole grains, seafood, and polyunsaturated fats should represent much higher percentages of American diets.

Hannibal's garden will help provide at least some of those positive food choices.

There's also something healthy about the way volunteers, such as the master gardeners, Kids in Motion members and others have pitched in to help. The Big River Chapel also gave permission for use of its property for the garden.

"We've got good soil, high in organic matter," Master Gardener Diane McCuistion Speed told The Herald-Whig.

We would add that the human resources are equally important in this project.

It takes hard work to tend a garden and selfless gardeners to tend one that will feed other people. Communities grow and flourish when neighbors help neighbors.