The soil is warming and many area gardeners have planted early crops such as onions and lettuce. Folks are hovering around the seed displays in stores, and are checking at home for gardening gloves and hose nozzles.

If your garden usually yields more produce than you can use, please consider donating the excess to your local food pantry. If you enjoy gardening, but don’t have the space for a garden (or if you rent your home from an owner who prefers that you not plant a garden), you could get your gardening fix by volunteering at a community garden.

These gardens are tended by volunteers who raise vegetables for donation to food pantries or to sell to raise cash for food pantries.

Maybe you are no longer able to do the digging, bending, and carrying involved in gardening, but you miss the fresh vegetables. If you are over age 60, live in Dallas County, and are within the income range, you may apply for the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program.

This provides $30 worth of vouchers you may spend this season at any farmers’ market booth displaying the logo. Contact Dallas County Health for an application. 515-993-3750 or