Bakersfield organization turns trashed land into alfalfa farm

Field of faith

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Several vacant fields filled with trash and weeds in South Bakersfield are now being put to good use.

Victory Outreach of Southwest Bakersfield has a team of men from its recovery home who have volunteered their time to transform the land to grow alfalfa.

Many of the men in the program had broken lives before they started working in the field.

A life of crime and drug addiction was the norm, now the sweat of their brow has transformed the field as well as their lives.

"I want to be a productive member of society. God has used this program to help me get back on my feet, flee drug addiction and put purpose back in my life," said Victor Segura.

Segura has been in the program for a year and is free from drugs. He said he has a future and a hope.

The field is in a part of town that has had its own problems. Some of the volunteers said they have been shot at while working the land.

"I found syringes out here full of drugs. I have seen people smoking weed out here, but God has kept me safe," Segura said.

Organizers of the church said they will use the proceeds from the alfalfa fields to help fund their new building, that will include a recovery home for men, women and children.

"We are working to build our new facility. We are not looking for hand me downs. We want to sacrifice to build what God has provided for us," said Salvador Portiello, coordinator.

The men who live in the  recovery home volunteer their time to help pay for food and housing.

The field off of Panama lane and Cottonwood set vacant for 15 years until Victory Outreach took over. The church leases the land and grows the alfalfa to sell it to local dairies.

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