May 6, 2016

Windham Community Garden ramps up for another season - By Michelle Libby

With warmer weather, gardeners are anxious to get their hands in the soil and the Windham Community Garden committee is ready for another season of productive gardening.

There are seven available beds at the Route 202 site, next door to the public safety building, said committee member Marge Govoni.

“Last year was a very productive year for the garden,” Govoni said. Now in its sixth year, there are opportunities to get involved and there is room to increase those seven remaining spots with the expansion area, but they are hoping to fill in the remaining plots before people beginning planting on Memorial Day. 

“The garden is open, but the water is not turned on. We recommend that people wait until Memorial Day to plant,” Govoni said. Some cold weather plants like peas, leafy greens can be planted now, but this time can be spent on preparing the soil with compost and lime. 

The beds are 10 feet by 20 feet and can be planted anyway the gardener wants as long as the methods are organic. The cost is $30 per bed.  Everything grows well at the garden, said Govoni. Tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, peppers and Swiss chard, just to name a few crops. 

The garden had its all gardeners meeting at the Windham Public Library with 50 returning and 50 new members. Govoni is excited for this year.
There are some changes to the gardens this year. The garden will no longer have beds devoted solely to the Windham Food Pantry, but will ask gardeners who might have excess produce to donate it to the pantry. 

The committee is hoping to have gardener’s educational sessions on things like pruning, canning and cooking. The committee is always looking for new committee members to help make decisions on the garden, help with work days and opening and closing of the garden. They are looking for fundraising ideas and are open to suggestions. They have held spaghetti dinners and yard sales. 
The group has been self-sustaining except for one year that they asked for $3,000 from the Town of Windham, who owns the land. The money they have goes into upkeep and maintenance, like when the fence needed repairs last year.

“We told the town we were not going to be a burden to the town,” Govoni said. “We have a healthy balance. We’re grateful to the community and businesses for donations they have given to the garden,” Govoni said.  

Path maintenance is a community project and everyone is asked to help with the weeding and spreading the donated wood chips. rent one of the beds for this growing season, go online to www.windhamcommunity and fill out an application.

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