St. Mary's Community Garden
~~St. Mary’s Community Garden started in 2012 with an approximately 500 square-foot plot that produced 308 pounds of food. All of the raised food was donated to the MLK Center and Salvation Army food pantries, both located in Newport, RI, and Lucy’s Hearth women’s shelter in Middletown, RI. In 2013 the garden size was increased to approximately 5000 square feet. Specific accomplishments included installation of a perimeter fence (Eagle Scout project), building a handicapped accessible raised bed (Eagle Scout project), installing a trellis and wire mesh tomato cages, and starting a perennial bed of asparagus. A perimeter path was installed as part of the Rogers Williams University freshmen work day. By the end of the season, we delivered 1050 pounds of produce to MLK Center, Salvation Army, Emmanuel soup kitchen (Newport, RI), and Lucy’s Hearth. Additional contributions from home gardens supplemented the community garden produce. Flowers were grown for use by St. Mary’s Pastoral Care Team. Fifty cubic yards of composted leaves were deposited next to the garden for use next season. A water line was run to the garden. The compost bins are used for the Sustainable Aquidneck food scrap collection program at the St. Mary’s indoor/winter Farmers Market.
The primary goal for 2014 is to donate over 2000 pounds of fresh food. To reach this goal, the volunteer base needs to be expanded and soil amendments need to be added in early spring to correct soil deficiencies. A second trellis and more tomato cages are desirable. Starting earlier and timely replenishment plantings will be necessary to reach the poundage goal. Longer-range projects are the installation of both low and high-tunnel hoop houses, adding a demonstration garden, renting individual plots, and involving parish youth in planning, planting and working in a children’s 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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Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA