2011 Year-End Report
This summer we grew three gardens totaling 1.5 acres on the property of Victor and Nora Scherzinger and Bob Lynn and Janet Braziel. Like 2010, the 2011 growing season got off to a rocky start. We had a late frost in May that killed half of our early tomatoes, in June we had record wind and we had record heat and drought conditions all summer. As a result, our tomatoes were not as productive as last year, the fruit was unusually small and our early tomato varieties developed blossom end rot.
However, despite the rocky start, the gardens did pretty well. Our total harvest was 45,400 pounds. During peak harvest, we distributed fresh produce to ten food pantries and one soup kitchen
- Storehouse West
- Rio Grande Food Project
- John’s Episcopal Food Pantry
- Casa Rosa Food Pantry in Placitas
- Corrales Food Pantry
- Maggie Cordova School Food Pantry in Rio Rancho
- People Helping People in Rio Rancho
- Jewish Family Services Food Pantry
- Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Bernalillo
- Anthony’s Soup Kitchen in Bernalillo
Plans/Goals for 2012
Erect a greenhouse
We have enough money left over from 2011 donations to purchase a greenhouse. Our plan is to purchase a greenhouse kit while they are on sale in November and December and to put it up early next spring. Our goal is to raise 5000-6000 seedlings.
Purchase or rent a plastic mulch layer
This is a piece of equipment that is pulled behind a tractor. It lays the irrigation system and covers the row with plastic mulch in one pass. There are several advantages to using plastic mulch.
- There have been periods when volunteer turnout has been low. In order to continue expanding the gardens, we need to implement some farming practices that reduce manual labor. Most of our crops are suitable for planting in plastic mulch and plastic mulch reduces weeding.
- Covering the irrigation system with plastic mulch reduces damage from mice, ground squirrels and other small animals
- Plastic mulch retains moisture
Form our own 501c3
Right now Seed2Need is organized as a separate project under the fiscal sponsorship of Rio Grande Food Project, a food pantry in Bernalillo County. My objectives for setting up a separate non-profit are to
- associate this project more closely with the village of Corrales. I would like this to be a project that the Village is known for and that Corrales residents take pride in. With so much vacant, irrigated land available, Corrales is uniquely suited to this type of project.
- give Seed2Need more autonomy to distribute the produce to food pantries in Sandoval Co based on number of families served.
3. provide more flexibility in applying for grants. Right now Seed2Need can not apply for grants without permission from Rio Grande Food Project, our fiscal sponsor. Since we are treated as the same entity, both Seed2Need and Rio Grande Food Project can not apply for the same grant.
4. I would like to provide more separation between the project and the Davis family. I enjoy this project and all of the people involved in it but if health issues or something else were to prevent us from serving in a lead role, I would like to have a board who would ensure that the project goes on.
Donate 50,000-60,000 pounds of produce in 2012
We will grow the majority of the vegetables. The rest would either be gleaned or donated by customers and vendors at the Corrales Grower’s Market.