When Chris Thorpe looks outside his office window, he sees more than just the three raised-bed vegetable gardens growing along the south side of the Veterans Memorial Hall at 810 H St.
The Veterans Services Officer sees the potential to grow a gardening program in Crescent City that would bring combat veterans and those with other types of post-traumatic stress disorders together as a form of therapy.
After acquiring a small grant recently from the local chapter of the American Red Cross, Chris was able to purchase the materials to build the small garden.
But he is thinking outside those three boxes to a venture along the lines of Archi's Acres, a popular gardening enterprise for veterans founded in Escondido by combat-decorated Marine Sgt. Colin Archipley and his wife, Karen.
Archi's Acres, Inc. has demonstrated there is profit, public interest, and a compelling story in merging one of our country's most pressing needs - sustainable food - with our country's greatest untapped resource, our returning veterans.
Here in Del Norte, "We're in the brainstorming part of it right now," Chris said, and support is being sought from other organizations.
Meanwhile, he could use some more help with what's growing now.
"We're interested in having veterans come in and work in the current garden."
Right now there's "a lot of lettuce, couple squash plants, bunch of tomatoes, cukes, peas and green beans." This fall he wants to plant root vegetables such as carrots, radishes and potatoes.
He helps tend to the watering during his lunch hour and breaks. But more help is needed.
"If we could get some volunteers interested in helping out with transplanting, weeding and pest control, that would be great."
They headed our direction
Ever noticed how hard it is to figure out which way is north, south, east or west around here? It's not just the slanted, crescent-studded coastline. Those big trees can be disorienting as well.
A production crew stopped off in Del Norte earlier this month as part of its work on an "adventure short promoting Casio watches. They shot a scene depicting how hard it is to get oriented in the redwoods, which played nicely into a promotion for a watch with built-in digital compass.
Other parts of the short were filmed in Los Angeles, the Mojave desert and on Alaskan glaciers.
Thanks to Cassandra Hesseltine for the tip on this. She's the film commissioner for Del Norte and Humboldt counties, and is always looking for new ways to attract film crews our direction.
"Shoots like these stimulate our economy through the production's use of hotel accommodations, dining, and other miscellaneous business needs," Cassandra said.
To sign up for free as a vendor for film productions with the FilmCommission, visit www.filmdelnorte.org, under production resources.