- Author: Becky Zelinski
- Editor: Noni Todd
Becky's Garden Gives!
By Becky Zelinksi UCCE Master Gardener
I made a recent connection with Paso Cares, an organization that feeds the homeless here in Paso. I have about a 1-acre vegetable garden. I expanded it this year because I had leftover seedlings from last year. I can't ever throw a plant away so I decided to just plant them out in an empty pasture area.
I added a couple of drip lines, added a little bit of soil amendments (not much) and plopped the plants in the ground. Both the original and new vegetable garden areas were going great guns. I always give away and share my produce but I still had more to spare. I contacted Paso Cares to see if they would like the produce. They said they'd never done it before so we figured out a plan.
I gave them more than 50 lbs of produce including corn, melons, cucumbers and squash. They serve dinner each night. The meals are prepared by local chefs and/or businesses who donate their time. They were so excited to have the produce and I'm so excited that I am able to help this organization fulfill their worthy cause. I plan to continue to give produce to them as long as my garden is producing.
I'll be planting fall and winter vegetables soon so hopefully I can continue doing this for a while. My garden has always been my fun, happy, peaceful, plentiful place. It's a lot of hard work but a labor of love. I love sharing it and everything that it gives with others. Now it's given me a way to give back to my community.
The worker at Paso Cares said that because of Covid, they have so many more families coming to eat dinner just so they can save some grocery money to use for other things. So right now, they're not just helping homeless people but people financially suffering from Covid.
This year, gardening has also kept me safe, sane and busy. The perfect respite in this crazy year. All-in-all, I produced more than 1,000 seedlings. I've sold some, donated some and gave many away to friends and other Master Gardeners. I'm an avid food preserver, too, so when I'm not in the garden, I've been in the kitchen cooking and canning. People are always amazed by my garden and what it gives. Every day it amazes me too.
For more information about Paso Cares, visit their website: https://www.pasocares.org/