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Colbe’s Crops: Sophomore Grows Crops for Charity

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Colbe’s Crops: Sophomore Grows Crops for Charity

Photo provided by Colbe Cortez

Photo provided by Colbe Cortez

Photo provided by Colbe Cortez

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Every summer, he goes out, checks the crops, waters the plants, pulls the weeds and tills the dirt. With a few years, a lot of outdoor work and patience, sophomore Colbe Cortez has created the charity garden “Colbe’s Crops.”

At first, Cortez just wanted to give his $50 Christmas money away to a charity, but his family friend and member of his church Tony Fry convinced him and his parents to invest that money into a garden plot at the Bryant First United Methodist Church.

“I grew up gardening, so I [told] them, “Instead of giving that money to charity, I would really love it if you guys would get in and garden with us at church,” Fry said. “They took on my challenge.”

It was $25 for a plot at the church. They spent thirty to forty dollars to get everything going with the purchase of gloves and tools. The first year, he raised about $500. The second year, they moved the garden to Fry’s yard for more space and resources. Over the past four years, he has harvested over 2000 lbs of produce. So far, Cortez has raised a total of $6,500, which has all been donated to Our House Shelter in Little Rock, a shelter for the working homeless.

The inspiration for Fry helping Cortez out with his garden came from being raised on a farm in southwest Arkansas.

“It felt good handing that knowledge and skill down to someone who didn’t know how to grow vegetables,” Fry said. “[Gardening] is not something you can plant and turn away from. You have to take care of it and nurture it.”  

Photo | Sydney Boswell


Cortez has learned many more lessons about marketing and growing vegetables from his experience with his garden. He has learned the entire process of growing and harvesting a garden, marketing and selling produce, baking zucchini bread and canning peppers.

“I have learned how giving the community is when it comes to supporting a worthy cause,” Cortez said.

Cortez cannot run his garden forever, since he has only two more years before moving to college.

“I do foresee passing the legacy of ‘Colbe’s Crops’ on to someone else,” Cortez said.

A member of his church family, a boy scout from his church or a Sunday school class will likely take over the crops.

“I have planted the seed and I want to see others carry it forward so I may see the legacy of ‘Colbe’s Crops’ continue,” Cortez said.

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