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.

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(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!

MPS FIRST HARVEST

(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!

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(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?

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(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.

SENIOR CENTER CGC

(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.

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(Harvest from RISE)

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(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!

PROSPECT PLACE

(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

(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.

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(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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About cgcstaff

Keene Community Garden Connections (CGC) is a collaborative initiative involving Antioch University New England's (AUNE) students, faculty and staff. Partnering with non-profits and service agencies in Keene, NH, we support organizations in the development of community gardens throughout Keene. We aim to use community gardens as a vehicle to increase food access, community wellness and landscape restoration. By doing so, we hope to complement other community efforts to develop a more resilient community that is working to mitigate our climate footprint and adapting for the future.
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