Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Ways you can boost local food security, get nature time, and build community with the Westmoreland Garden Project

The Westmoreland Garden Project, situated along the Connecticut River at the site of a former county jail, is where Community Garden Connections (CGC) graduate students and volunteers grow food for The Community Kitchen, with support through Antioch University New England (AUNE) and Cheshire County Conservation District.

It's an amazing project. It's providing opportunities to grow food along with skills and networks that enhance climate resilience, get people in nature, encourage healthy eating, promote service learning, and build community. It is a lot of work, and so much fun.

The Westmoreland Garden Project is inviting help from community members to expand its capacity and get things done this season. Check out the ways you can help, and if you can provide any of these, let's CONNECT.

April-May 2018:
  • Help preparing for burning things, help burning things. We have a permit for Saturday, April 14 (same day as the pruning workshop). If it is raining that day, the brush pile can be burned during the day, otherwise it has to wait until 5pm and can go through the night until 9am. I'm willing to do the burn part if nobody else wants to/can, but the brush pile needs to be trimmed and stacked better... (which is what the fire marshal said) And it looks like someone was already out there and tried to burn it? Maybe the same person who has been pruning trees? But I don't know who.
  • Doors for the high tunnel. That is a necessity. They don't need to be fancy, someone could even build one, but the door does need to be passable for a wheelbarrow.
  • Is it possible to schedule a team work day for Tuesday the 10th, to get all the tools and hoses and such back out to Westmoreland? That will give us a week before the first community work day is planned. It's looking to be pretty grey and cloudy for quite some time, but I'm not seeing active rain in the forecast on that day. Could also be a good time to trim the brush pile.
  • A new lock and key for the shed.
  • Having free manure would be great, so yes, truck and driver would also be good. I've been following a lead on a possible donation of compost, but don't have an answer on that yet.
  • Mulch straw. (I'm trying to work with Horse & Buggy but don't know if they'll come through on a donation) 
  • Woodchips. (haven't checked with the transfer station - they might have some?)
  • Someone to take out all of those metal posts that are by the apple trees and old plum tree stumps - they'd be great for building tomato supports. I tried pulling them out of the ground but they're buried deep.
  • Someone to take the plum tree stumps to the ground - they're about three feet tall right now.
  • T-posts (also for building tomato supports) or some other such sturdy thing. (again, thought of checking the transfer station) Wooden poles rot and also can't be sanitized.
  • Someone to move the granite stones for the outdoor classroom space Madi planned.
  • I think we need some new small hand tools (hand trowels, small hand rakes) for volunteers. We have some but some of the trowels are quite damaged and should be replaced.
  • Do we have a large beverage cooler? Like the ones sports teams use? If not, that would be a lovely addition to volunteer work days.
  • The first aid kit needs to be checked and re-filled.