In the recent Bedford Connection Magazine there was a great article about the Bedford/6 Stones Community Garden.  Check it out below:

Bedford/6 Stones Community Garden: Interview with volunteer Todd Boutte

It was a crisp winter afternoon as winds blew out of the east at the Bedford/6 Stones Community Garden on 209 N. Industrial Boulevard in Bedford.

“What a great day to be in the garden,” said Todd Boutte, a 48-year-old, Information Technology worker from Bedford, Texas. Boutte, originally from Louisiana came to Texas in 1989 and hails from a long line of gardeners. “I love getting my hands in the dirt, it makes my day.”

The Bedford/ 6 Stones Community Garden project started in the winter of 2011 and is part of 6 Stones, a community service leader working with a combination of churches, non-profit groups, cities and school districts to help meet the needs of underprivileged residents of the Hurst-Euless-Bedford areas. The Bedford/ 6 Stones Community Garden is a certified teaching project for the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association and the purpose of the garden is to develop a sense of community and educational opportunities.

The garden consists of seventy-seven plots ranging in various bed sizes of 4×8 ($20), 4×12 ($30), and 4×16 ($40) and are leased by the year beginning in January. Plots are assigned on a firstcome, first-serve basis once paperwork and background checks have been finalized. Every gardener is required to donate a minimum of 50 percent of their produce to 6 Stones for distribution in The New Hope Center.

“Last year, gardeners donated over 2,500 pounds of produce, which means that this garden harvested over 5,000 pounds of food for these communities,” said Annette Lee, one of the Master Gardeners for 6 Stones. “This project is all about empowering people with commitment and stewardship. It’s easy to write a donation check but it’s a lot harder to volunteer and our volunteers are amazing,” Lee continued.

Boutte first heard about the Bedford/ 6 Stones Community Garden project in the Bedford Connection magazine, which is mailed to Bedford residents quarterly. “I first started helping, by working on plots that had been abandoned. I’d pull weeds, clean out the beds or whatever was needed. I wanted to learn more about organic gardening and it’s always great to work with a Master Gardener.”

“Todd is the ideal volunteer, even when I couldn’t be at the garden he would show up and get things done,” Lee said.

“My earliest memory of gardening was about four, and I noticed a stalk of corn and asked my Dad how it got there. I remember, looking up at the tall stalks, they were so big.” In the summer, Todd’s father would divide up a section of the garden for him and his sister, and they would compete, to see who had the best crop.

“I think, all we really did was plant the seeds and Dad took care of the rest,” Todd laughed, “But it was always a lot of fun.”

Anyone is welcome to volunteer at the Bedford/ 6 Stones Community Garden and Todd has these tips to offer:

1. Start small.
2. Don’t expect a bumper crop for your first planting.
3. Ask a lot of questions.
4. Don’t rush. It’s all an experiment.
5. Keep the weather in mind. It will be 105 degrees in the summer and the unforeseen can and will happen, but the plots still need tending to.
6. Don’t be intimidated, there are plenty of experts to ask and everyone is very friendly.

“The most significant thing about volunteering here, are the people I meet. I’ve met neighbors, I never knew I had. I’ve met the Mayor of Bedford; so many people of all ages and it’s great to spend time outside talking with my friends,” said Boutte.

The Bedford/ 6 Stones Community Garden will be hosting classes throughout the year and offers gardeners with any skill level to come and learn alongside the Master Gardeners. New classes will include lessons on solar power, rain water harvesting, zeroscaping with native Texas plants and composting. New classes are always being added and residents can learn more at or call 817-868-7400 for information.


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