Trevor Baeza, age 2, was everywhere lending a helping hand with his shovel.
Russell Huffman | El Defensor Chieftain photos

Gardeners young and old alike gathered Sunday to assemble a new shade covering at the New Mexico Tech Gardening Club’s community garden on Leroy Place.

Created through a collaboration between SCOPE, the NMT Gardening Club and Foot Services and the Socorro Rotary Club, the garden was a beehive of activity last week as gardeners from 1-78 years old gathered to weed, plant, clip, and mulch.

New Mexico Tech Gardening Club president Sarah
Stanley shows the variety of flowers to be planted in the garden.

“I’m out here to help the kids. I have been moving mulch, and we laid down landscape fabric earlier,” Rotary club member Jon Morrison said.

At 78, Morrison is the most experienced gardener on hand.

“What was amazing, not that I had ever planted a fruit tree before, but my hole was the right one and everyone came over to look at it,” Morrison joked.

The garden isn’t about who has the most expertise as much as who is willing to put in the work required to get the project fully established after its first season last year.

NMT physics major Jonathan Dooley had no gardening experience when he first started, but as he pruned a grafted apple tree that will bear several different types of fruit when mature, it was hard to tell.

“That’s the great thing about this garden is you don’t have to have any gardening experience because there are people here who will show you,” Dooley said.

On Tuesday of last week, Dooley was leading a group of people in checking out the dimensions of a shade covering that will provide relief for gardeners and plants during the summer months.

Once the cover was set into position, it was determined that larger and safer hardware would be needed for its final attachment. On Sunday, the covering was fully up and safely connected allowing workers to concentrate on spreading much and doing more weeding which never seems to end.

The ultimate goal of the garden is to provide food for those in need. The byproduct is the learning and sense of community that also come with it.

If you would like to take part or learn more about the community garden, the members meet on Wednesdays and Sundays each week during the growing season.

The Garden Club meets Wednesdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 104 Leroy Place.


Jonathan Dooley started out with no gardening experience, but now he’s who people turn to for direction.

Alina Comeau, Dooley, Megan Hein and Cameron Sanchez work at installing shade for the garden.

Briana Winter, age 1, tastes tests grape leaves.