Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Airmen join community in garden project

USAF photo: Greg Allen Airmen from the 33rd Special Operations Squadron at Cannon build a chicken coop for Gabriel’s Garden, a community project that provides fresh vegetables and eggs for the needy. The garden is the idea of Clovis resident Lori Yanez who named it after her deceased husband, Gabriel, who envisioned a garden that that would be shared with others.

Air Commandos from the 33rd Special Operations Squadron joined the Clovis community in a project that will provide fresh produce and food for the needy.

Airmen toiled under a hot July sun right outside the base as they weeded a plot of land called Gabriel’s Garden. Others stretched chicken wire around posts that would ultimately become a chicken coop for future egg layers.

Capt. Diana Gamache learned of the project shortly after her arrival to Cannon following a tour in Iraq. She said when she learned about the project she garnered support from airmen in the squadron who then made the short off-base trek to lend their backs and muscle in support.

“We want to show the community that we are here for them, emotionally and physically as well,” she said.

Gabriel’s Garden is the idea of Lori Yanez, who lives on the small plot of land bordered by train tracks on one side, speeding cars on the other and 27th Special Operations Wing aircraft flying overhead. It’s named after her deceased husband, who wanted to build a garden so he could share its bounty with others.

The garden, begun this spring, will be available for the less fortunate, who will be able to come by and trade work for food crops such as squash, corn, onions, lettuce, and eggs from the chickens. Yanez solicited community support from the senior center, the food bank, the Lighthouse Mission and the Matt 25 Hope Center, which also provides food for the needy.

Kristen Beltran is one of the local youth volunteers who, “just decided to show up one day,” and has since become a regular volunteer.

“I was attracted to the project because of what I heard about it, about how it’s about people helping themselves,” she said. “It’s easier to go to help than to go for help,” referring to the fact that people earn by volunteering.

Gamache said that this is about the community helping those in need and her squadron plans to continue its efforts.

“I’m glad we are involved,” she said.

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