Hometown Hero harvest helps those in need

Posted at: 10/15/2012 8:19 AM
Updated at: 10/15/2012 4:42 PM
By: Heather Mills, KOB Eyewitness News 4

There's nothing quite like a homegrown tomato or freshly picked green chile, but for so many who depend on our food pantries for their meals, fresh produce is few and far between.

That's where Seed2Need steps in. This group is harvesting hope in the form of fresh food for the pantries.

"You know, this is the best we can do this time of year," Sam Thompson said as she picked some tomatoes. She's part of a group of gardeners that are rushing now to pick the last of this year's crop before the first frost.

"Normally you'd wait until this is totally red if you could, but I don't think we're going to have the time," she added. And they know what they're talking about. Many of the people who work the garden are graduates of the Sandoval County Master Gardener's Program.

They come out this 1 1/2 acre plot of land to volunteer and give back. All the fresh produce is donated to local food pantries and soup kitchens.

"There's such an enormous need within New Mexico food pantries at this point that every single thing that we produce can be absorbed within 24 to 48 hours," said Leslie Davis. That's why they're particular with their picking methods.

"We look for larger squash," said Penny Davis. "We don't pick the little itty bitty squash."

"Taking a load of fresh green chile to a food pantry in New Mexico is an amazing experience," added Leslie Davis. Since it began three years ago on donated land, Seed2Need has doubled its productivity. This year they're on pace to reach 60,000lbs of produce.

"We could triple this if we had the volunteers," said LD Alexander. "We have the property, I guarantee we can get it." Anderson has been gardening for 30 years. He says this experience has taught him so much.

"I thought I was a pretty good gardener until I came here. I found out that I didn't even hardly know what I was doing. Have I gained a lot? This is probably one of the most fantastic things I've done in many, many years. Right here."

Seed2Need is always looking for more volunteers. If you'd like to help, you can find more information here.