Power to Save: Growing Gardens Giving Back

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SAYLORSBURG -- A garden in Monroe County is growing in a big way. It's entire harvest goes toward helping the community it's rooted in.

The rows of plants seem to never end - zucchini, tomatoes, lettuce - all right in Jim Capasso's back yard near Saylorsburg.

"I just decided to go out and turn over the garden and just plant and see who I could feed," said Capasso.

Jim began this labor of love about four years ago. He's the proud owner of nearly 2,000 plants. Neighbors call him the 'pepper king.'

"I have red peppers, yellow peppers, bell peppers, green peppers, habanero, jalapenos," said Capasso.

What's special about this garden is that Capasso, 67, donates all of the fresh produce to a local food pantry.

Owners at Gould's Produce and Farm Market in Brodheadsville caught wind of Jim's mission. They were shocked he donated one ton of produce just last growing season.

"Never, I mean we have others that do that to a degree, but not like Jim does it," said Gould's Produce and Farm Market owner Ann Gould.

Gould's and some of Capasso's other suppliers decided to help and donated about 2,000 more plants.

Now with all of these donated plants, Capasso says his garden has about doubled, and he could use some help tending to it, and picking all of those fruits and vegetables when the time is right.

"If somebody comes here and wants to help when it comes time for picking or weeding or something, fantastic," said Capasso.

He's also looking for other pantries to donate to. Those reaping the benefits already, can't thank him enough.

"To have somebody willingly donate it to be handed out to the families that come to our food pantries is a blessing," said Jennifer Strauch of the Pleasant Valley Ecumenical Network food pantry.

For information on how to help with this growing garden, contact Jim Capasso at 610-381-6486.