We are a group of passionate garden and sustainable-living enthusiasts in the small rural hilltown of Plainfield, Massachusetts. We have established a relationship with our local Franklin Land Trust to use some of their pristine farm land to create a community garden. This land, also known as the Guyette Farm, was gifted to the Franklin Land Trust by Eveyln Guyette and is permanently protected from development. We seek to create a beautiful and functional agricultural space for community members to use and enjoy, as a continuation of the long farming history of the land by the Guyette family.
Our community garden seeks to fill an important void in our area: access of gardening land for those in transition or without land, or for those who need extra support such as education and resources to build organic, nutrient dense soil. In addition, we are in need of more community building activities to strengthen our neighborhood ties in an otherwise isolating landscape. Furthermore, the community garden establishes public space for group garden projects to benefit the community at large.
Last year we plowed a quarter acre and cover cropped the area in preparation for the garden. This year will be our first season of growing food crops. We are welcoming people to acquire plots for personal gardens in half of the plowed land. In the other half, we are initiating shared community projects. This year, some of these community projects include: seed saving to create a local seed bank; growing vegetables for our local elementary school and for the food pantry; sustainable growing demonstrations using Permaculture and Grow Biointensive techniques.
Last year we invited local experts and held workshops on pruning berries and on sheet mulching. These workshops supported our intention to re-establish and maintain the heirloom raspberries and blueberries that were part of the Guyette family's garden. This year, we hope to continue to provide workshops on a variety of gardening practices, such as hand pollination of winter squash, basic seed saving, and more. We also hope to use garden produce for healthy cooking instruction.
Your contributions will help us with the start-up costs of the Guyette Farm Community Garden. Our priorities from funding are to pay for compost and amendments to build a nutrient dense soil composition, and to pay for needed fencing to protect the crops from wildlife feasting. Any additional funds will be used for creating a watering system.
How You Can Help
Please consider giving whatever amount you can. Every little bit helps, even if it's $1 or $5. Please look at the "Perks" in the boxes on the right side of this page to see what we will give back to you when you are able to give $10, $25, $50, $150, $300 or more.
The funds we raise from your contributions will focus on these garden start-up needs:
1. Compost for the quarter acre: $500 estimation including already inquired discounts
2. Orgnaic Amendments for the garden: $500 estimation.
We hope to build a nutrient dense soil with time. And we hope that by providing compost and amendments, we will make it more appealing for those without access, and easier for gardeners to create flourishing gardens.
3. Basic Fencing: $750 estimation for metal fence posts and metal grid fencing.
Extra Funds-- Watering System: Any extra funds from this campaign will go towards the set-up of a watering system which involves pumping from the nearby spring with piping and hoses that connect to the garden. Estimated $1000 cost.
Even if we do not reach our campaign goal of $1,750 to cover compost, amendments, and fencing, we will still go ahead with our plans for the community garden this season.
If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, you can donate directly to Franklin Land Trust, with a memo about supporting the Community Garden. .
Food insecurity and environmental degradation are major concerns for people all over the world. I believe that now, more than ever, we need to act to change the social and economic divide supported by systems of exploitation. Taking charge of local food production is an important act of connection with land, earth's resources, labor, and community. Creating this community garden is an example of dedicated action, which will increase the health of people, communities, and our environment.
John Jeavons, my teacher and pioneer of Grow Biointensive mini-farming says, "All we need to do is to start with one growing bed and tend it well, and we have begun the exciting, expanding, giving process of enlivening and healing the Earth and ourselves."
On Saturday, May 12, 2012, we will be having the groundbreaking for our garden. We will have activities from 10 am to 2 pm. The following is the schedule of activites:
• 10:00: introduction to the garden
• 10:30: plowing the field with plow and oxen, led by local Plainfield resident.
• 11:30: scything demonstration
• 1:00: tool sharpening demonstration/workshop
All day: guided hikes, plant sale, and baby lambs!
We welcome you to come join us at our garden site on this day, to enjoy the festivities and to learn more about what we are doing. If you've donated $50 or more, you can come pick up your free plant.
Other Ways You Can Help
A monetary donation is not the only way you can help. Donations of tools and your time and labor to get our garden off to a good start are greatly appreciated. In addition, we appreciate your spreading the word of our campaign to others who may be able to help out, or spreading the word to inspire others and to continue the ripple effect of positive change.
Team on This Campaign: