GET INVOLVED AT THE GARDENS
Seed2Need provides a way to assist others in your community in a very direct, hands-on manner. Your participation will provide fresh, nutritious produce to local families in need. Furthermore, volunteering at the gardens is a great way to meet people within the community and to learn gardening techniques from Sandoval County Master Gardeners. All assistance is appreciated, whether the commitment is short term or long term. You can sign up for the mailing list (on the right) or follow the Seed2Need page on Facebook to get involved.
BY THE COMMUNITY, FOR THE COMMUNITY
Seed2Need is a community garden. Volunteers provide the manual labor, growing produce on behalf of the community. Unlike many non-profit endeavors, this project involves manual labor; sweat, scrapes, dirt, and occasional insect bites. Most of our volunteers come from church groups, scout troops, schools, and corporate community service groups. Every individual makes a big difference. Fortunately, hundreds of people get involved every summer. Our volunteers are young and old, from all walks of life. They are unified by the common desire to have a positive impact on our community. For more information or directions to the gardens, please contact at Seed2Need@gmail.com.
Seed2Need is almost 100% volunteer based. However, there is one valuable exception – a part-time farm manager. We decided to hire a farm manager in 2018 to help with equipment maintenance, to help supervise the gleaning and volunteer work sessions, and monitor the gardens to prioritize maintenance and harvest tasks. It has made an enormous difference to have an experienced farm manager to help oversee the gardens, particularly during weeding season, when temperatures rise and enthusiasm wanes.
A landmark study released in 2010 by the New Mexico Association of Food Banks and Feeding America, our nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization, reports that nearly 40,000 New Mexico families seek food assistance each week. 40% of the members of households served are under the age of 18. With limited financial resources available to organizations providing hunger relief, there is little funding to invest in perishable commodities. According to the most recent Census Bureau Report, New Mexico ranks #1 in terms of poverty. Unemployment, underemployment and slow economic recovery increased the number of families seeking emergency food assistance in 2008. Currently, we find ourselves in jeopardy again due to covid. Federal and state funding has been cut. Additionally, charitable contributions are down nationwide. 51% of our food pantries have reported turning people away due to a shortage of food. A USDA study found that under-nutrition experienced by children during periods of growth impacts their behavior, their school performance, and their overall cognitive development. Furthermore, studies relating to food insecurity amongst the elderly found significantly lower intakes of protein, carbohydrate, saturated fat, niacin, riboflavin, vitamins B-6 and B-12, magnesium, iron and zinc, as well as lower skinfold thickness, resulting in lower body weight and increased immunological vulnerability.
DONATE TIME, PRODUCE, AND/OR DONATE MONEY.
The need for more volunteers is a constant as we continue to grow in scope. It takes a lot of people to pick an acre of tomatoes in two hours or to harvest 50 fruit trees. We have two primary initiatives: the gardens and gleaning fruit from local orchards. If you would like to get involved, please join our mailing list. We do not send spam.
Typically, we start sending emails in the spring as we prepare to prune fruit trees and plant. To get involved prior to May, please email Seed2Need@gmail.com.
Due to the unpredictable nature of volunteer turnout, we ask that larger groups notify us when they plan to help at the gardens. That will allow us to prepare for the work session and to schedule groups on different days to maximize what we can accomplish. Peak harvest occurs between mid-August and the first week of September, with 8000-12,000 pounds harvested per week. Harvest tends to be the most rewarding time of the year for volunteers. However, the interminable weeding of June and July are what make the garden productive.
PLANTING PREP | VIDEO TUTORIALS
The videos to the right provide a general introduction and information regarding planting techniques and tips. If you will be helping us plant the gardens, please consider watching the videos.
For newcomers the videos explain how we do things and why, which will help avoid many of the common mishaps that occur during the mayhem of planting. For regular volunteers the video will provide a reminder of what to watch for during planting. The gardens are so big that it takes a lot of people supervising and answering questions for things to go smoothly.
As a reminder to volunteers, we recommend hats, sunscreen, long sleeves shirts and pants at the gardens. Whereas shorts, t-shirts and tank tops are comfortable and cool, many people have unexpected reactions to some of the plants (both weeds and vegetables). Furthermore, there are also a variety of insects that may bite or sting, including bees, ants, wasps, spiders, and other common garden inhabitants. We provide water as well as bug repellent.
GET INVOLVED | GLEANING PRODUCE
Whereas we appreciate the many requests received, we can’t accept every offer due to volunteer availability and limited equipment. However, if you would like more information about donating fruit and other produce, please click here.
GET INVOLVED | FINANCIAL SUPPORT
Donations allow Seed2Need to continue to operate and expand our mission of fighting hunger in New Mexico. We are a qualified 501(c)(3). Donations are tax deductible. We accept funds via United Way, PayPal, and post. For more information about donating, please see the Donations Page.
Our mailing address is Seed2Need, PO Box 874, Corrales, NM 87048