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Gardening 101: Veterans Produce leaps in a day

Gardening 101: Veterans Produce leaps in a day
Gardening 101: Veterans Produce leaps in a day 02:45

NORTH TEXAS ( - We first introduced you to Veterans Produce last Christmas. The non-profit was founded and run by Navy veteran TC Beckett. 

Everyone calls him "Chief" since he retired from the Navy as a Chief Petty Officer. 

In that story we showed you his operation in Keller, an aquaponic and hydroponic teaching lab that also produced food for homeless veterans and those suffering food insecurity. His plan is to expand his program across the nation, empowering veterans on how to grow their own food and some for others. 

As my grandmother would describe him, the man has "heart glow".

Beckett has a powerful mission and a powerful argument on how it can help so many others. His story traveled all the way to Home Depot headquarters in Atlanta. 

The corporation with a long history of helping veterans decided to help him out as well. They showed up in the second week of September with about 400 volunteers and a couple of flatbeds full of materials and tools. 

For one day, their very large group toiled at building out his new facility located behind the church garden at New Life Community Church in Frisco. A year's progress was made in one day. All of it a donation.

It will take Beckett and his team several weeks to get the growing operation up and running. It will be a larger and more efficient version of what he had in Keller. 

He estimates once fully operational it will add about 25,000 more meals a year to his giving. He'll continue to bring in veterans to teach what he knows with the hope of building more places just like it all over America. 

Big hearts have big dreams. It's a glow that grows.

Jeff Ray is the senior First Alert Meteorologist at CBS News Texas and an avid gardener. When not covering the weather, he is finding stories about Gardening in North Texas. If you would like Jeff to come talk to your group about how changing weather patterns are changing the way we garden in this area, please email him at

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