The 50 plots in our Community Gardens have been harvested and cleared of plant debris. Organic compost has been added to improve the soil and the plots have been planted with a cover crop of annual rye.
“They’re tucked in and ready for winter,” says Garden Director Natalie Walsh, looking back with satisfaction on a remarkable first year.
“We didn’t just build the gardens,” she says. “We built a community.”
"This is a really wonderful and flourishing garden," she adds. "I can’t say enough about the volunteers who have pitched in and all input we’ve received for next year."
She chronicled it all on her blog, WhatsNatalieDoing.com, producing a record of the gardens' remarkable first year. Among the many highlights:
- The start of the Sunflower Growing Contest
- The start of construction of the 35 raised beds
- The filling of the first beds with soil
- Installation of the sandbox sunshade
- Contributions by the Navy and Saratoga Bridges
- First donations to the Franklin Community Center food pantry
- Judy Brunner's mini-farm
- Chef Kim London's herb class
- Installation of the Fairy Villages
- Art classes taught by Martel Catalano and Nancy Hicks
- Naming of the scarecrow
- The Pitney Meadows Art Show and results of the Sunflower Growing Contest
- Construction of a pathway for those whose mobility is impaired
- The end of the growing season
- The final harvest
The plan for 2018 is to expand the gardens from 50 plots to 91, says Barbara Glaser, who chairs the Pitney Meadows Donor Cultivation Committee and the Community Gardens Advisory Committee.
“The community has been very generous in its support," says Barbara. "We have raised money for next year's expansion and for a pergola with tables and chairs, where anyone who wants to enjoy the tranquility of the gardens may do so."
Other members of the Community Gardens Advisory Committee credited by Barbara for the extraordinary progress made in the gardens this year are Margie Ingram. Rich Torkelson, Peter Goutos, Ian Murray, Robin Ambrosino, Murray Penney, Chris Cameron, Susan Bokan, Rocco Verrigni, and Paul Arnold.