- Sara Powell
Community Partnerships in Action: The Westmoreland Garden Project
The Westmoreland Garden Project (WGP) is located at the old county farm site across from the Maplewood Nursing Home on River Road in Westmoreland. This garden is overseen by a group of dedicated Antioch students and faculty who run an organization called Community Garden Connections (CGC). Community Garden Connections is a project of the Antioch University New England Department of Environmental Studies. The mission of Community Garden Connections is to increase local capacity to grow food. CGC supports the installation and cooperative maintenance of raised-bed gardens in partnership with local service agencies, community members, students, staff, and faculty, in Keene.
The Westmoreland Garden Project (WGP) is an extension of CGC’s programmatic efforts to increase food access and educational opportunities in our community. WGP is a collaboration with Cheshire County Conservation District—in which CGC staff expanded their programming in 2013 to revitalize an abandoned 1+ acre garden plot on this county owned land. The primary goals of CGC's Westmoreland Garden project are to:
1) Engage community and student volunteers in planting, tending and harvesting produce weekly through "work parties"
2) Increase donations of produce to social service agencies throughout the community and the local Community Kitchen in Keene
3) Increase garden education through and around the Westmoreland Garden Space, achieved through workshops and other educational opportunities held at the garden site
Just in the past two seasons alone with the help of many student and community volunteers, CGC was able to:
Plant, tend, and harvest over 2,380 pounds of produce
Provide 660 hours of volunteer opportunities to community members
Offer 9 different workshops on site, covering topics including basic beekeeping, apple harvesting and cider making, companion planting, and more.
Install long-term perennial projects, such as a shitake mushroom growing area, an apiary, perennial food crops
And with the help of an NRCS grant install a high-tunnel greenhouse with drip irrigation.
If you are curious about the project stop by on Tuesdays from 4-6 for the regularly scheduled volunteer days.
For More Information on the Program
Community Garden Connections 40 Avon Street Keene, NH 03431 firstname.lastname@example.org
For CGC updates follow here:
Keene Community Garden Connections Facebook page
Keene Community Garden Connections Website
AUNE Students Interviewed on Craig Dallas Rice Show
Written by: Sara Powell
CCCD Associate Board Member