Memorial United Methodist Church in Clovis

Hmong Garden Ministry

Over a six month period 10 Hmong gardeners, in partnership with leaders from Clovis, the Master Gardeners Program, Fresno State's Irrigation Department, and others, leveled the almost half-acre lot on Scott Avenue, dug a 400-foot trench for irrigation piping and planted more than 70 rows of peas, beans, corn, onions and other vegetables.

By July, the first few sprouts had burst from the soil. Now the families take home bags of produce daily. "It has been humbling to see how hard they worked," Memorial Pastor Denice Leslie said. "They've taught us a lot about community."

"Houa Lee knows how much this means to the Hmong community in Clovis. Lee witnessed the horrible chaos in Laos after the Vietnam War. She saw her family massacred and watched others starve as they hid in fear of the killing bullets and crushing blows. She fled to the United States, like many Hmong people, in hopes of finding food, shelter and comfort. She said this plot of Clovis land gives her and her friends more than just food. It gives them a job to do, something they remember from Laos and something to be proud of."

Clovis Independent, Week of October 1 - 7, 1999

Preparing the garden
(click picture to enlarge)