Gardeners grow for needy

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The Magdalena Samaritan Garden is back on track, after a false start last spring because of the water shortage.

Volunteers from both Magdalena and Socorro, including five 4-H students from Magdalena Schools, gathered for a “Planting Party” last Saturday afternoon.

All produce from the garden will go to the all-volunteer Samaritan Center in Magdalena.

John Larson - El Defensor Chieftain: It was a planting party at the Magdalena Samaritan garden last Saturday for 4-H students, parents and other volunteers. Harvesting will begin in July and all vegetables will be distributed to Magdalena’s needy families.

Deb Ingersoll, of Green Girl LLC, oversees the garden as a “guidance counselor.”

“We planted carrots, green beans, beets, peppers, cucumbers, chard, collards and several varieties of squash,” she said. “Everybody took cover when it started raining and hailing, but came back out and finished what had to be done. They were great.”

The garden is the brainchild of Jen Kent, who has made available a 50×172 ft. vacant lot she owns at the corner of Main and Seventh streets in Magdalena.

“I didn’t want to see that ground go fallow,” Kent said. “I was so glad to find out the Samaritan Center wanted to grow fresh vegetables. It will be a good use for it.”

The Samaritan Center is in the south end of the old Magdalena Hotel, and sponsors monthly food distribution for low-income residents. It also operates a thrift store.

Ingersoll said local support has been gratifying.

“We got contributions of tools and gloves from Walmart, Ace Hardware and Rak’s,” she said. “We also received an offer from a donor to pay for one month’s water bill. That’s worth about $30 or $40.”

Ingersoll said she’s looking to harvest the vegetables in July. The fresh vegetables will then be distributed by the Samaritan Center.