The New Mexico Tech community garden produces vegetables and provides a green space.
Courtesy photo

In June 2021, the Socorro Rotary Club met with Samantha (Sam) Winters from SCOPE to discuss possible service projects in Socorro. The discussion revolved around the issue of hunger and New Mexico Tech (NMT). Sam said, what if we went in with Tech and other interested parties and put in a garden for the students at Tech? Students growing their own vegetables and fruit sounded like a great idea.

The community garden has workdays every Wednesday and Sunday, open to all.

The students were from the NMT garden club and rugby players. Working in the garden for some was a new experience. They’re learning skills for later when they’re out on their own. Just like the proverb about teaching people to fish, growing your own food can be life changing.

Sam negotiated with Tech for a large lot, 13,000 sq ft, across from the Masonic Lodge on Bullock with its entry on Leroy Place. Next, she got the city to donate the water for the project. We broke ground on the garden on January 29, 2022. The Socorro Rotary funded the irrigation through a Rotary District 5520 grant and club funds. The club also paid for the landscape fabric to slow the development of weeds.

Selfie with Jonathan Morrison and Jonathan Dooley head of the NMT Garden Club.

Rotarians and students built eight raised beds and planted eight fruit trees, one walnut and three grape vines.

The Socorro Storehouse was brought in to partner with the Socorro Rotary on the project and purchased much need wheelbarrows. They were used to move compost provided by NM Tech. The first year was a learning experience for all, but worth it. They are planting earlier this year in hopes that more vegetables will be ready before the semester ends.

This will be a multiyear project with the Socorro Rotary, and The Storehouse will be here to help with funds and labor when needed. With Rotary, Service is Before Self.

Jon Morrison, Socorro Rotary Club