Paul Bockman picks up a newly harvested onion and chops off the green leaves. “Look at all that juice,” he says, pointing to the freshly cut top. “These are really sweet too.”
This morning, Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, Council Members Marsha Berzins and Bob LeGare and Food Bank of the Rockies’ Director of Marketing and Community Relations, Janie Gianotsos visited Paul and his son as they started harvesting a ton of onions and potatoes. Paul uses just 1,440 square feet of ground, built with raised beds, each fitted with a few rows of irrigation tubes. “I water each section for four minutes a day,” Paul tells us and then humbly responds, “Anybody can do this.”
Bockman, 81, definitely has the green thumb. He’s been gardening his whole life and has a wealth of knowledge on how to grow a successful crop.
Paul started growing the bulbs to sell to Chili’s five years ago. When Chili’s decided to go with a cheaper option last year, Paul chose to donate the produce to Food Bank of the Rockies. This year, he planted the crops specifically for the food bank. “It really bothers me that so many people are hungry,” Paul says. “You can grow a lot of food in a small space.” He wishes more gardeners would grow food to help feed people in need.
FBR is grateful to Paul and his son for taking the time and energy to plant, grow and harvest these beautiful onions and potatoes for our community. His efforts this summer will make a lot of people very happy. Thank you Paul!