BEDFORD -- Ray Champney can't wait to get his hands dirty.
"I used to grow tomatoes whenever I could," he said. "Other things didn't work out too well."
The Bedford city councilman was among the first to lay dibs on a plot in the City of Bedford/6 Stones Community Gardens.
Similar to gardens that are sprouting from one end of Tarrant County to the other, the plots on land owned by First Baptist Church of Euless will be leased to people who can grow whatever they want.
And like miniature farms from the Hope Community Gardens in Mansfield to the 40 plots at WestWind Church in Keller, half of what's produced must be donated to help feed people in need.
Katey Rudd said the Tarrant Area Food Bank has coordinated a program that has established eight such gardens since August. The next step, she said, is creating one specifically to teach people how to run them.
"We're working on a community learning garden that we hope will be on the north side of Fort Worth," she said.
Susan Harper started a community garden last year in the Fairmount neighborhood in Fort Worth.
The idea was so well received that the 77 plots were leased almost as quickly as they became available.
"All the plots are leased again this year, and people are already beginning to plant," Harper said.
Rudd said the plan is to add three to four community gardens every growing season.
"We've been working off a grant through Tarrant County Public Health to put in all these gardens," she said. "This is definitely a growing movement."
Gary Phillips, the administrative pastor at First Baptist Euless, said he didn't know how many 48- to 64-square-foot raised-bed gardens can fit into the 1.5-acre space off Industrial Boulevard near Airport Freeway. But they will help fill dietary needs of some of the up to 13,000 people that 6 Stones -- a Bedford-based nonprofit organization -- serves with help from seven area churches.
Champney is eager to get started.
"I'd like to try to grow some green beans and lettuce, because I didn't have success with that in the past," he said.
Terry Evans, 817-390-7620