PHOENIX - St. Vincent de Paul's Urban Farm is an oasis in the middle of a Phoenix industrial district.
The garden, which relies on volunteers, provides fresh fruits and vegetables without the use of pesticides or fertilizers. Meanwhile, one special volunteer is making a big difference.
Once a week, you'll find Tom Jones working in the garden, with employees helping lead him to wherever he needs to go.
"I've been doing it since last May, just after the pandemic started," Jones said. He works with his seeing eye dog, Rhoda, who guides him and is always by his side.
Jones gardens by touch because he is blind. He came to the Urban Farm last May for advice on how to grow his own food. He eventually began volunteering at the nonprofit, supporting St. Vincent de Paul's main mission to feed those in need.
"[The food] got over to the kitchen, got served right away to people that were in need of fresh fruits and vegetables, and I got to be a part of that by planting a seed and praying over that," Jones said. "I think the power of prayer is huge."
Jones seeds about 400 fruits and vegetables every time he visits the garden, but he says he's mostly planting hope.
"I can just imagine...people that are sighted come into this fairly industrial area and they will see all these beautiful yellows," said Jones. "It's just going to be pointing to God there again - hard to avoid."
More on the Urban Gardens: https://www.stvincentdepaul.net/programs/urban-farm