The Planted Seed, helping those in need

Aug. 20, 2014 @ 02:32 PM

Doug Gore and his wife Leigh had only been married about a month when their house burned in January 1993.
Both employees at Thomasville Furniture Industries, Leigh called Doug at work to tell him the house was on fire.
“It only took me ten minutes to get there, but by that time it was halfway burned down,” he said. “We didn’t have anywhere to go.”
Fortunately Jim Rickard, a supervisor at TFI, who learned of their plight let them move into a vacant rent house. They lived there until May, long enough to locate another place to live.
The Gores never forgot his generosity. In 2009, they founded a nonprofit organization called The Planted Seed which seeks to plant a seed of hope for those in need.
“We want to show the love of God in two ways – by providing temporary housing and food through our community gardens,” said Doug.
Since October, 2009, around eight families have found refuge at the organization’s
three-bedroom, two bath home on Hunter’s Chase Road in Silver Valley. The home is in transition right now after the family who last lived there moved out several weeks ago. Like the Gores, they were displaced when their living quarters were destroyed by fire.  They were grateful for a place to live while the family was in transition.
Like any other home, there are unexpected expenses. Last summer, the air conditioning went out and in March of this year, the heat. Soon the entire HVAC system will need to be replaced. On top of that, The Planted Seed still owes a great deal on the house.
Leigh spends every spare minute there, preparing the house for its next occupants. Most of the time, she cleans alone.
The organization’s garden is in transition as well.
Meanwhile, Doug and a handful of volunteers prep the community garden for the fall season. With the help of Jennifer Brady and Rosa Angeles, he plants lettuce, spinach and collard greens. This summer was a banner year.
“We had a 50-foot row of squash that had humongous plants,” he said. “It was the best row of squash we’ve ever had. We try to give the majority of the veggies to The Father’s Storehouse, which provides food for about 400 people a month.”
Through vegetable donations, they provide fresh locally-grown produce to families who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it.
Volunteers do their own composting, using very little chemicals . Donations of composting materials such as leaves, chemical-free grass clippings, animal manure, wood chips and sawdust are welcomed and greatly needed.
A new project, a flock of chickens are now producing six or seven dozen eggs per week.
The organization also has a greenhouse where seedlings are started and plants are grown.
“We need help transplanting and watering,” said Gore. “We always need help in the garden in all seasons turning compost, pulling weeds, planting plants and building raised beds. If we could get a group of 8 to 10 people to come down and volunteer  two to three hours in the garden, they would only have to come help out once every four or five weeks.
“This year we had two people who did that and it made the biggest difference. If there is someone with land who would let us plant more gardens, then we could help even more people.”
For those who can’t help out physically, The Planted Seed welcomes financial help.
Our goal is to help others get through their difficult times with as little stress as possible and to get them back on their feet,” said Gore.

Staff writer Debbie Hightower can be reached at dhightower@tvilletimes.com or 336-888-3576.

Want to help? To  volunteer, call 476-8433 or email doug@theplantedseed.org.
For more information, visit theplantedseed.org.