Watermelon Salad

Hey Gardeners!!!!

Happy Fourth of July!  In honor of this patriotic holiday, we have a recipe for a delicious and SUPER EASY garden snack!  Watermelon Salad.  Thats right, we are about to open your mind to a fruity and healthy game changer.

Serve it today to your guests, they will love it. :)


Community Garden Connections


  • Watermelon
  • Blueberries
  • Mint leaves

Step 1: Get a bowl

Step 2: Wash your fruit and herbs!  Get all of that dirt off.

Step 3: Cut up your watermelon.  Don’t know how?  Check out this youtube link here! Then place the watermelon into your bowl.

Step 4: Add the blueberries and mint!

Step 5:  Mix the fruit around

Step 6: Store the fruit bowl somewhere cool/cold for about 10 minutes to let the flavors mix.

Step 7: Enjoy!!!

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First Harvest of the Season!

Hey Gardeners!!!!

We know it’s been a long time, but after a long, cold winter, we are proud to announce that yesterday was our first harvest day of the season out at The Westmoreland Garden Project!

IMG_7743With the help of our staff and wonderful volunteers, we were able to harvest 3 boxes of lettuce at 25lbs, 4 boxes of kale at 15lbs, and a box of chard at 11lbs! All of this food was donated to Keene Community Kitchen! Woooohoo!!!


On behalf of this awesome event, we want to give a special shout out to our Garden Manager, Sara!  Community Garden Connections wouldn’t be where it is today without Sara and the time and dedication that she continuously puts into the Westmoreland Garden and our program!  Thank you, Sara! You rock!


Also, a special thanks to all of our volunteers that dedicate their time to the Westmoreland Garden Project!  We couldn’t do this without you!


Stay tuned in to our blog to learn more about the inside scoop with CGC!

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Westmoreland Garden Project donations reach 2,000 pounds for the year

We could not be more excited to announce our yearly donation of fresh, local food have reached 2,000lbs, most of which has been donated to the Keene Community Kitchen. The remainder of the food was used during the pilot of the Fair Share Program, an internship through Antioch where CGC coordinator Sara partnered with Keene State Dietetic Interns to facilitate cooking classes at our in-town garden sites. Everyone left with new cooking skills and a bag a veggies.


Our volunteers are the best. Above they are digging potatoes.


Squash donation being delivered to the Keene Community Kitchen.


Everyone has sooo much fun out at the WGP!


The Fair Share cooking class at Harper Acres.

The CGC is forever grateful to be able to grow food for our community. The support from our volunteers, Antioch, community members and our partnering organizations has been astounding. Thank you to everyone who supported us along the way. As we close down the beds and plant garlic to end the season we will be reflecting on this wonderful journey.

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Fall is in the air… 2014 Anuual Harvest Festival!!!


Earlier in the month Keene Community Garden Connections hosted the 2014 Annual Harvest Festival. CGC sites came together to share a meal, connect with one another and celebrate community. Local business donated yummy soup and desserts that were enjoyed by all. A big thanks goes out to the Monadnock Food-Coop, The Works Cafe, The Bred Shed and Panera Bread. We also had amazing volunteers show up to help prepare food, serve food and entertain gardeners with music. After the meal, CGC coordiantors presented awards and facilitated Garden BINGO. Harvest Fest 2014 was an complete success! Already excited for next year!


Gardeners, volunteers and community members chatting it up and having a grand ol’ time.


Gorgeous, festive center pieces. It’s all about the ambiance.


 Co-coordiantor Cynthia and super star volunteers Aliza and Daniel.


 Garden Bingo was a hit!


Volunteer John playing some groovy tunes.

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CGC Featured in Keene Sentinel… twice! Front Page Story and Editorial

The CGC team is honored and delighted to have been featured in the Keene Sentinel. A front page story about our efforts in the community was published in the Saturday paper, along with a follow-up editorial on Monday. We love what we do and are thankful for the opportunity to spread the word about our program. Hopefully, our accomplishments will inspire others to make a difference in their community.

Check out the articles here.

A garden that gives

A farm-fresh idea to help those in need

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End of Summer Garden Site Updates

The 2014 garden season was quite the success. From workshops to cooking classes to community connections being made, the CGC has much to be proud of. We are excited to come together to celebrate at our annual Harvest Festival next week.  Below are some pictures and season reports from our first official newsletter that was created this summer.


(photo is from the Pest Workshop in July at Harper Acres. Folks are participating in a bug scavenger hunt with Carl Majewski from the UNH Extension)

Harper Acres – Harper Acres has had a fantastic season so far. Their raspberry patch is quite healthy and all of the garden beds look lush. The gardeners all help one another out and delicious food of plenty has been harvested all summer long. They have planted squash and potatoes in tires to utilize more space. The gardeners are planning to put in some grapes behind the beds. Totally rad!


(First Harvest of the year at MPS)

MPS – The gardeners at MPS have been busy harvesting kale, lettuce, snap peas, garlic scapes, parsley, and dill so far this season. They have cabbages that are growing big and beautiful as well as many other veggies. They had a surprise cauliflower that they originally thought was a cabbage when it was planted- this was harvested and enjoyed in one of the community meals that is prepared every Thursday. One of the dedicated gardeners at MPS, Jodie shared her thoughts on the garden this year: ‘It has been neat to see how successful we have been this year with new vegetables and herbs. We have been learning a lot about how some plants could use more sun than where we have them planted and some others could use a shadier place in the garden.’ The gardens are looking great thanks to the gardeners that meet every Monday and take turns watering throughout the week!


(CGC co-coordinator Marie and gardener Don soaking up some sun beside the Woodward Home Gardens)

The Woodward Home – The gardens at the Woodward home are looking great and the food is being used in the kitchen for the lunch and dinner meals. Herbs are harvested fresh every day. They even got adventurous and planted edamame and an artichoke. Big news: This season The Woodward Home turned their whole backyard into a potato patch. How cool is that?


(Three lovely ladies from Building Bridges helping at the Westmoreland Garden Site)

The Building Bridges Clubhouse – The pizza garden at the clubhouse is going strong and the kiddos have enjoyed many healthy veggies. Anna is a rock star and even brought three youngins to the Westmoreland Garden Project to help in the garden and play in the dirt. See the picture below on Page 4.


(Friday Garden Club at the Keene Senior Center)

Keene Senior Center – The Senior Center has had an epic gardening season so far. They built a brand new raised bad and have two Keene State interns lending a helping hand. The garden club does work every Friday.


(Harvest from RISE)


(Gardeners at the Ben Franklin School)

ACCESS (RISE and Benjamin Franklin School) – The gardens at RISE are cared for by Kathy, who has the greenest thumb on this side of the Mississippi. The children have enjoyed many a snack and it was so cool to see the garlic they planted pop up first thing this spring. Davis, the ACCESS coordinator along with two teenage volunteers helped them finish up their fence around the garden. The ACCESS folks are also taking care of the school gardens for the summer and donating the food to the Community Kitchen. Keep up the good work!


(Gardeners at Prospect Place getting ready to harvest Radishes)

Prospect Place – The gardens are growing well. The carrots, beets and radishes are growing gangbuster. the bush beans have flowered and will be ready to be picked soon. The Prospect Place gardeners planed garlic in one bed last fall and now the plants are getting big. The kitchen used some of the garlic capes (the curly flowerbud stalks) in a stir fry recently.


(YMCA folks building a trellis)

YMCA InShape – The InSHAPE program at the Keene Family YMCA is now growing veggies in three of the YMCA beds. Diane, a volunteer and previous InSHAPE participant, is the gardener extraordinaire of these beds. She has even planted a patch of sweet corn next to one of the garden boxes. The tomatoes that Diane planted are gigantic and we had a good time pruning and staking them recently.
The childcare program beds also have veggies growing in them. However, veggies might not be the only thing growing in one of the beds. Not long ago a large mother snapping turtle climbed into the lowest box to dig a nest. We don’t know if she laid eggs, but it is possible that baby snapping turtles will emerge from the children’s garden later this summer! The snapping turtle did damage some plants but most things still seem to be growing.

Keene Recreation Center –  The Rec Center plans to offer three of their beds to folks at the Community Kitchen while using the remaining for their fall programming. In the future, Community Kitchen guests and their families will be able to use this space to grow vegetables to supplement their food needs.


(Westmoreland volunteers displaying harvest in front of the new sign. All food in this picture was donated to the Keene Community Kitchen)

Westmoreland Garden Project – Antioch students and community volunteers garden every Tuesday is Westmoreland beside the abandon prison through a partnership with the Cheshire Country Conservation District. Everything from Kale to Zucchini to fresh herbs have been donated this year and we still have a couple months to go. Sara, CGC Co-Coordinator, has taken on the role of the Farm Manager and the gardens look absolutely incredible. Her hard work and dedication has allowed even more fresh, local food to reach community members by donating the produce to the Keene Community Kitchen and through Fair Share Cooking Classes.

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It’s gardening season, baby!

Ahh, summer is here and all of our sites are knee deep in the dirt. Here are some photos from recent garden happenings around town.

ImageThe Building Bridges Club House kicked off the season earlier this month and planted a lot of tasty vegetables. They will be used to make pizzas and other snacks for their participants and their families. The young children at the Clubhouse will get to eat this fresh, garden food all summer long. Stay tuned for more photos.



The Keene Senior Center had a garden club every Friday. Seniors, staff, interns and CGC coordinators garden, soak in some sunshine and make new friends every week.



In May, the Harper Acres crew received some garden amendments. After a soil test, their beds were in need of some Potassium. In this photo, Betty and George are rejoicing over their amendments.


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MPS Season Kick-off!

Woo hoo! It is finally warm enough to get out there and start prepping for the season. Grab those dusty tools, spread some compost and don’t fret about dirty fingernails.

On Monday, April 21st CGC coordinators Sara and Marie, and former Coordinator Michael attended the first Monadnock Peer Support Agency weekly volunteer work party. We were happy to help and spend some time in the sun gardening with these awesome folks.


Theresa and Tracy spreading compost to get the beds all prepped for planting.



Constance and Jeremy transplanting some seedlings.




Jody and Tini moving some compost!

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Pruning Workshop at the Westmoreland Garden

On Tuesday, April 1st Community Garden Connections hosted a pruning workshop at the Westmoreland Garden in conjunction with the UNH Cooperative Extension. The Westmoreland Garden has a bunch of overgrown apple, pear, and plum trees so we were happy to learn some pruning tips! George Hamilton of the Cooperative Extension led the workshop and around 35 people attended. George was incredibly knowledgeable and entertaining as well. He showed us the tools of the trade and then pruned one of the Westmoreland apple trees as a demonstration.


The biggest take away from the workshop was probably the importance of pruning to get light into the center of the tree. Fruit trees that go unpruned become too tall and have too many branches to produce a good crop of ripe fruit. George told us multiple times that “The worst cut for the tree is the one you didn’t make.” That said, you will probably want some expert advice before you go hacking branches off the apple tree in the front yard. Here is a quick resource on pruning shrubs to get you started:




photo (1)



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2014 Pre-Season Garden Kick Off Workshop

On Tuesday, March 4th Keene Community Garden Connections hosted a workshop at Antioch University. Gardeners, site partners, coordinators and faculty advisors got together to share gardening knowledge. The day was an inspiration and the most important lesson learned was how much collective garden knowledge we hold together. 




Co-coordinator Sara facilitating a session a garden planning.  During this piece, many participants shared their favorite pest control methods and companion planting strategies. 



Hands on session led by co-coordinator Peter where participants started herb seeds. Many gardeners want to start their own plants indoors this year. Hopefully, this will get them going!




Making herb butter with basil, parsley, dill, garlic, lemon, salt pepper and butter. It was delicious!



Folks from Harper Acres, Building Bridges and Antioch Gardener’s planning their gardens together. 






Keene Senior Center and Prospect place reflecting on last year’s achievements and goals for the upcoming year.  





Monadnock Peer Support getting excited to get their hands dirty while discussing upcoming strategies and brainstorming ideas. 


The workshop was a success. Gardening season is right around the corner and Keene Community Garden Connections is ready to plant some seeds, literally and metaphorically. 


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