CGC Co-Coordinator Michael Hightower had a very successful, free cooking series this fall in partnership with the CGC and the Cheshire Country Conservation District. His grand finale was a pie making class. Community members came together to learn how to homemade crusts and different kinds of pies. They swapped tips and left with bellies full of pie plus 2 crusts to take home. Can’t beat that! Stay tuned for more classes this spring or summer.
Harper Acres ended the season with a potluck. Gardeners shared food and talked about the successes of the season. They already started planning for next year. Good work everyone!
The Woodward Home, through a generous Home Depot donation, is having a ramp built down to the garden beds. This will make the gardens more accessible for the senior residents who enjoy them.
The Westmoreland site had quite the successful season. Over 1,000 pounds of food were donated to community organizations. We hope to grow and donate even food next season. This picture shows sheet mulching, a technique to kill the grass and create new beds for next year.
CGC Co-Coordinator Sara teaches folks at Monadnock Peer Support how to plant garlic
Garden Friends -
It is that time of year again. Frost is upon us and we must admit gardening season is nearly over. Protecting the soil for the winter with a method such as sheet mulching is a highly suggested. Before doing so, be sure to plant some garlic! You will be delighted when it pops up in the springtime. Goodnight Gardens. We look forward to seeing you after your winter slumber.
One of my favorite things to do each week is to drive around Keene, NH and see how all of the CGC gardens are doing (Over 45 raised garden beds!). It always makes my smile a little larger. Here are some “before and after” pictures of our new sites (Rise, Benjamin Franklin School, Monadnock Peer Support Agency and Prospect Place). They are doing an amazing job growing vegetables and their organizations are enjoying the bountiful harvests!
This photo was taken before planting at Benjamin Franklin School :)
Photo taken late summer at Benjamin Franklin School!!! Wowza! Look at all that food
At Rise in Keene, NH, in spring.
Rise in Keene, NH, in late summer. They’ve been enjoying all sorts of fresh produce in their lunches at the daycare center.
These raised bed were planted at Monadnock Peer Support Agency!
They have been supporting huge harvests of greens, herbs, squash, tomatoes, beans, and much more!
Two CGC coordinators, as well as educators from NY, MA, NH, and VT went to Deb Habib’s workshop on School Gardening at Seeds of Solidarity Farm. Two of our new sites this year are schools, including Rise and Benjamin Franklin School. This workshop has given us many ideas on how to incorporate the gardens into curriculum here in Keene We are thankful to be around such inspiring people!
It was a long day that started in Brattleboro, gathering enough rough-cut hemlock for 18 raised garden beds. It took all day to get the wood, cut it to length and then deliver it to our sites. Each site will hold a separate bed building party, which will be held in two weeks! We cant wait to build these beds!CGC Co-coordinators from left to right: Michael Hightower, Andrew Herrick, Karen Alsen, Megan Kennedy
Our first workshop was a success! The new garden sites were all enthusiastic about this upcoming growing season and cant wait to start growing. It felt like a real community.
This Saturday we are presenting at Antioch for Earth Day. We will be presenting on garden site design and planning. Megan Kennedy and Andrew Herrick will conduct a workshop that will cover basic design and planning considerations when starting a vegetable garden. There will be two mini-lessons: one teaching about the universal, natural and human elements to consider when growing a vegetable garden and another discussing where to grow, this will include plant relationships, companion planting, space and shade. This workshop will provide beginner garden groups with the planning skills, knowledge, and confidence to design their own garden sites.
Here is a picture from out previous workshop.
This Wednesday is our first workshop with our new sites After a blizzard delayed our first meeting we are ready to think about gardening once again. We will tackle the complex issues of Site Design and Garden Bed Planning in a 4-5 hour intensive workshop with good food and new friends. We are getting excited to build more community gardens in addition to the 6 existing sites in Keene, NH this season.
Stay tuned to see how it went and get updates about our next workshop, Bed Building!
Last week, for the first time ever, CGC gave an epic presentation to the board or trustees. Former CGC master and Antioch alum, Libby Weiland came to town to join in on the fun. We want to thank Libby for being such a powerful presence during the presentation. Without her, CGC would not be what it is today!
In our discussion we highlighted the many benefits of garden-based education, including community food security, increased quality of life, economic and social wellbeing, as well as building community resilience. Also in the presentation we got to brag about our successes to date. Along with the invaluable services provided to Antioch students, we’ve built 6 garden sites, hosted a myriad of workshops, forums and connected a new community of gardeners to resources in Keene, many of which are children!
Also at this event, CGC unveiled our new promotional video! Thank you to all the people who helped to create this wonderful piece of art! Please check it out and give it a “Like!”
We are really excited to host this year’s first workshop on site design and garden bed planning on March 19th. Stay tuned to hear all about it!
Community Garden Connections is ready for another great season! Much like nature, CGC is constantly evolving and with the passing of some great things, comes lots of new growth. Due to the structure of the Antioch graduate program, Maisie and Allen are in Missouri and California respectively and have allowed for new things to grow :’( Sob. Also, the amazing Caity Stewart is embarking on new adventures. Moment of silence please… All of these garden enthusiasts will be greatly missed.
The first line of business is to welcome three new members onto the CGC team! Meghan Kennedy, Andrew Herrick and Michael Hightower. All three of these graduate students are motivated and bring a plethora of great skills to the table, including a degree in plant and soil science and multiple experiences working on vegetable farms in VT.
This year we are introducing three new community garden sites. This brings the total number of sites to nine in Keene! Each new site will enjoy the installation of 6 raised beds, for a total of 240 square feet of garden space. Talk about greening up the city!
Here at CGC we believe that gardening is a vehicle for change. Whether it’s increasing access to healthy food, improving community green spaces around Keene, or simply fostering wellness, our goal remains building a healthy and sustainable environment that fosters strong social networks and improves quality of life for all those involved.
Stay tuned for updates on our three workshops and how you can volunteer!