An Inspirational Story of Gardening with Purpose, Mindfulness and Heart
March 28, 2019
By Garreta Kipp, Fort Bend Master Gardener
What a privilege it is when the bounties of our gardening labors can be extended to those in need of a helping hand. Enter Jean Trevino, whose story of decided caring and heartfelt sharing sets a stellar example of just how important and meaningful our Master Gardener outreach efforts can be.
For those who don’t yet know Jean, she is the Chair of the Vegetable Garden. She and her team are extraordinarily dedicated to planting and maintaining some of the most productive and beautiful herb and vegetable beds your will ever see. In fact, the prolific amount of produce led Jean to search for an outlet where those who otherwise might not have access to fresh vegetables could enjoy their healthful benefits. She found the perfect location in Richmond, and she now delivers fresh produce on a weekly basis to the food bank at Mamie George Community Center.
Trini Market manager Shayne Baker notes that few food banks have fresh produce available to accompany the much appreciated non-perishable foods typically donated. She adds that one of her responsibilities is to educate clientele on good eating and lifestyle habits, and that fresh vegetables and fruits are important food inclusions that help break unhealthy eating patterns. Perhaps most importantly, she reports that clientele look forward to the weekly arrival of garden-fresh, nutrition-packed produce!
Jean’s deliveries to Trini Market began in November 2017. Since that time, almost 1,900 pounds of produce, with an estimated retail value $2800 has been donated to the food bank. And, the variety of product given has been wide! Between January and March of this year, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, turnips, greens, herbs and citrus have all been in the mix. In addition to the bounties from the Master Gardener vegetable beds, individual Master Gardeners have made contributions from their personal gardens, as well.
There is a touching story behind Jean’s purpose, one that speaks to her mindfulness of the needs of others and her heartfelt determination to be of service. Many years ago, she lived in a war zone in Africa where she witnessed starvation and poverty. Jean describes how one could sit at an outdoor restaurant and see hungry eyes peering through the outlying bushes. “I couldn’t eat,” Jean says. “I would ask to have my meal packaged and I discreetly passed it to those in need. I saw what it was to be so in want, and to this day I can’t bear to see food go to waste.”
And so it is that Jean has extended her love of gardening into a most extraordinary service to support the health and well-being of others. You would have to see first-hand the delight and appreciation expressed by food bank recipients when they see garden-fresh crisp herbs, colorful beets and leafy chard so lovingly made available. It truly does give a new depth of meaning to the idea of outreach. Jean, you are a credit and an inspiration to us all. Thank you for all you do!