Dr. Robert R Johnston Community Garden
The Dr. Robert R Johnston community garden is located in Putnam Connecticut surrounded by a neighborhood consisting of low-moderate income families. Putnam is defined as a distressed community by the state of Connecticut; “a community where indicators of economic standing show significant weakness”. The neighborhood surrounding the garden is changing from “empty nesters” to young families. The garden is within walking distance of many homes and apartments and serves as a source of local, healthy food during the growing season.
The town of Putnam received $22,000 in grant money from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection with an in kind donation of $11,000; totaling $31,000 to establish a community garden. The Dr. Robert R. Johnston Community Garden at Rhodesville Village was established to assist local families without green space along with food insecure families an opportunity to grow and harvest their own produce.
The 4150 square foot garden was established in 2012 and contains 15 raised beds, 2 handicap accessible, 9 ground beds and a row of blueberry and raspberry bushes.
The garden’s first year brought 4 families and a handful of local organizations to rent beds. One of the first families to plant a garden shared that their 8 year old son attempted to grow a cabbage in a 2 foot section of dirt along the driveway for a school project. Needless to say, the cabbage did not survive. Attached are photos of the family and their cabbage that successfully grew in Putnam’s first community garden. This family submitted their cabbage along with other produce into the children’s agriculture exhibit at the 152ND Woodstock Fair. The cabbage received first place. The 2013 season brought 15 families to rent multiple beds, occupying the entire garden. The residents of Putnam would like to see continued success with the community garden.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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