Sandy Colb has had a garden since the second grade. Now, the 66-year-old American-born Israeli has channeled his love of agriculture into a way to help feed Israel’s poor.
Colb moved to Israel in 1974 after earning his degree at Harvard Law School. He then founded a patent law firm, which has grown to be one of Israel’s largest and most successful.
In his new home, he also planted a garden, because that is where his heart is.
“I would find a piece of land and start digging,” Colb said. “It’s wonderful to see stuff grow, especially big zucchinis. I have a picture of my older son, who is now 40, holding a zucchini that’s bigger than he is.”
As his gardening habit grew, so did his garden.
Eventually, he had so much he was able to give a lot of it away to organization that helps feed the poor.
“When the winter came I had no tomatoes to give her, and she said people needed them. So a friend and I started going once a week to the wholesale market in Rehovot and buying veggies to donate,” says Colb.
Eventually, Colb started acquiring more food to give to the poor.
His largest plot is now over 86 acres. Through his Tov V’Hameitiv Foundation, he know employees workers – many with disabilities and special needs – to work his massive fields. Volunteers from Leket also provide 25,000 volunteers each year to make sure the food gets from the fields to needy people’s plates.
While Colb does receive some support for his massive endeavor from both private donor and his town of Rehovot, running a mega-farming project to feed those in need does not come cheap.
“It’s expensive, but its my veggie habit,” he said about his gardening ‘hobby’ that provides 100 tons of fresh fruits and vegetables to those in need each week.