177.7 lbs of Food Harvested for the Community Kitchen!!!!

Hey Gardeners!

We sure hope that your week has been nothing short of dandy!  Tuesday was a great day out at The Westmoreland Garden Project.  We greeted our advisor, Jean, with tons of hugs because she had just retuned from spending almost the entire summer in Africa.  It was so nice to be reunited!

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We quickly got to work to make sure that all of the plants being harvested were washed and packaged!  It is amazing how much food just one one-acre plot can produce. This week alone we harvest over 177 pounds of food!  Of course, this was all donated to the Keene Community Kitchen to ensure that local families have access to fresh and organic produce.

This weeks harvest included:

11825685_994834340546846_587423524773411179_nCabbage- 23.5 lbs
Lettuce Mix- 6.5 lbs
Broccoli- 10 lbs
Chard- 17.8 lbs
Kale- 29.5 lbs
Cucumbers- 15.5 lbs
Zucchini & Squash- 30.1 lbs
Celery- 18 lbs
Beans- 4 lbs
Parsley- 0.6 lbs
Tomatoes- 1.6 lbs
Onions- 20.6 lbs

If you want to get involved with our efforts, please email community gardens@antioch.edu

Enjoy your weekend!

Warmly,

Community Garden Connections Staff

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Food for all!

Hey Gardeners!

How has your week been going so far?  Ours has been great!  We started our week off with a staff meeting to discuss what us staff members can do to make Community Garden Connections operate more efficiently and effectively, and most importantly, more engaging to the community. If you have any suggestions or comments, please feel free to email us at communitygardens@antioch.edu :)

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Tuesday we had a great day out at The Westmoreland Garden Project!  We started off our Volunteer Garden Party at 4:00 pm with weeding, harvesting… and of course… SNACKS! In total, we harvested 112 pounds of food consisting of cucumbers, zucchini, cabbage, beans, broccoli, kale, lettuce mix, parsley, chives, chard, and celery. We washed up our harvest and our lovely staff member, Cynthia, took the food to New Dawn Farm to await its pick up and delivery to The Keene Community Kitchen.  Thank you to our volunteers for helping out and giving people the gift of healthy produce! We and all of the community appreciate your efforts!

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Our garden party ended a half hour early on Tuesday because we had an AWESOME Garden Pest Management Workshop hosted by the one and only Carl Majewski from the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Program.  We learned about diseases that happen in plants, garden bugs we want to keep, and garden bugs we need to get rid of. Fun Fact: The only ORGANIC way to get rid of squash bugs are to SQUASH them! 

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If you missed the workshop and would like to attend others, please give us an email at communtiygardens@antioch.edu

Don’t forget to: Like our Facebook Page and Follow us on Instagram!

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Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

-Community Garden Connections

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Weekly Newsletter!

Hey Gardeners!

We hope you all have had a wonderful week and are ready to start your weekend!  Community Garden Connections has had an eventful week and we want to share with you some awesome things that have been going on in our community!

Westmoreland Garden Update:

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This past Tuesday was a great harvest day for Community Garden Connections.  In total, we harvested just over 146 pounds of food that we donated to the Keene Community Kitchen.  The harvest consisted of broccoli, lettuce, onions, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, kale, and chard! We always feel overly rewarded when we know that the food we donate is going to families in need.  Community Garden Connections couldn’t be more grateful for the staff and volunteers that help out with The Westmoreland Garden Project!

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MFCC Event:

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015 was the Monadnock Farm  and Community Coalition’s (MFCC) Urban Farming event held at the Keene Recreation Center.  Community Garden Connections was fortunate enough to c0-sponsor this event.  Local farms and gardeners came together to share their knowledge about sustainable farming and gardening resources.  There was a bunch of yummy food too!  Check out the Beet Pesto recipe below that was shared with us from the Keene State College Dietetic Program!

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Recipe:

Beet Pesto (shared by the Keene State College Dietetic Program)

Ingredients:

2 medium beets, peeled, chopped, and roasted

1/2 cup almonds, roasted

3 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup olive oil

salt to taste

Directions:

Roast beets- Preheat the oven to 400F.  Wash, peel, and cut beets into 1 1/4 inch pieces.  Wrap them in foil.  Place foil onto a baking tray for 40-50 minutes (until tender).  Let cool when done.

Roast almonds- Line baking tray with almonds and place them in the oven.  Stir frequently to make sure the almonds do not burn.  Should take 3-5 minutes.

Combine beets, roasted almonds, white wine vinegar, and garlic in a food processor.  Let it pulse a few times.

Drizzle in olive oil slowly while pulsing the food to allow the pesto to combine

Add salt to taste

*****Make sure you are wearing clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.  Beets stain!


Fall Crops That Can Be Planted Now:

It’s time to start planting your fall crops from seed!  Don’t know what fall crops you should plant?  No worries because we are about to inform ya!

  • Beets
  • Lettuce
  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale
  • Radishes
  • Peas
  • Greens

You can even start these plants in a pot and transplant them to your garden when they are ready!


Questions, comments, suggestions?  We want to hear from you!  Please email us at communtiygardens@antioch.edu and “like” our Facebook page!

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Second Harvest of the Season!

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Attention: Gardeners!

11705327_984618381568442_4222946367960324685_nWe have some awesome harvest news!

This past Tuesday, a bunch of our wonderful volunteers and staff members congregated out at The Westmoreland Garden Project to help harvest MORE food!

After some weeding, harvesting, washing the vegetables, washing some more veggies, preparing the boxes, and putting everything on the scale, we  delivered our second harvest to The Keene Community Kitchen!

In total, we donated 46.25 pounds of food!  11692557_984618624901751_1385853832084236069_nWe harvested 39 bunches of lettuce weighing 16.75 pounds, 12 bunches of chard at 5.5 pounds, 16 bunches of kale at 4.5 pounds, 6 bunches of parsley at 0.5 pounds, 9 bunches of chives at 0.5 pounds, 10 bunches of lettuce mix at 4.5 pounds, 1.5 pounds of summer squash, and 12.5 pounds of broccoli!  A success to say the least.

Of course, we wouldn’t be able to operate so successfully if it wasn’t for the help of the Keene Community.  To every person that donates their time and efforts to Community Garden Connections, THANK YOU!  Together, we can help beat food insecurities!  :D

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If you’re interested in volunteering with Community Garden Connections, please don’t hesitate to send us an email; community gardens@antioch.edu

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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. :)

Best,

Community Garden Connections


Ingredients:

  • 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!!!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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

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Squash donation being delivered to the Keene Community Kitchen.

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Everyone has sooo much fun out at the WGP!

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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!!!

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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!

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

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

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

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 Garden Bingo was a hit!

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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.

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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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