April is National Garden Month and a great time to get ready for the coming season. In anticipation, we’ve begun updating our Community Gardens resource page and hope it will be ready in time for the relaunch of the Seacoast Eat Local website. In the meantime, read about the South Berwick Community Garden and the fresh food they help provide to local organizations, at Seacoast Online:
South Berwick’s Community Garden a Growing Success
Nestled in the heart of town, off Willow Drive near the soccer fields, is a small parcel with 32 raised-bed garden plots. It is the site of South Berwick’s community garden, started by master gardener Cindy Kimball in 1999 and managed today by Mimi Demers, master gardener and Planning Board member.
In addition to the beds utilized by residents to grow food for themselves, two beds are set aside to be grown cooperatively, providing produce donated to local organizations like the South Berwick Food Pantry and the Senior Center. Demers estimates that during growing season, at least 12 to 15 pounds of produce per week are harvested by volunteers and donated to local organizations.
“But for a small-scale operation, poundage is not the most salient piece of information,” she said. “You can pick lettuce all day long, but pound for pound it will not compare with a bushel of corn, for example. But there has to be a method of capturing donations, and overall it is a good one.”
Demers said the vegetables change from year to year. “You have to stay tuned in to what people really want to eat,” she said. The gardens are operated “mostly organically.”
To read more about South Berwick Community Garden, including the possibility of forming a new one in town, visit: www.seacoastonline.com. Learn more about where to find a community garden or how to donate fresh food at our resource pages: www.seacoasteatlocal.org.