Community garden takes shape as Peterborough plans opening
Meas Roun of Peterborough finishes work on a garden shed for a community garden project at the Peterborough Community Center Saturday. (Meghan Pierce/Union Leader Correspondent)
Organizers of the new Peterborough Community Garden plan to donate to local food banks. (Meghan Pierce/Union Leader Correspondent)
Cherry tomatoes grow in a new garden at the Peterborough Community Center are to go to the Peterborough Food Pantry as well as other local food banks. Meghan Pierce (Meghan Pierce/Union Leader Correspondent)
Based on a design by landscape architect Karen Fitzgerald, the garden has 15 raised beds, a garden shed under construction, wheelchair-accessible pathways, fruit trees, benches and fencing. Blueberry and raspberry bushes as well as a mini-amphitheater for events and programs are also planned.
“It's really meant to be an edible landscape for people,” said Joyce Carroll, associate director of the Cornucopia Project.
The Cornucopia Project, which teaches gardening to elementary and middle school students in the ConVal School District, is managing the town-owned garden.
A $20,000 grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and about $5,000 from private donors got the project off the ground earlier this year.
For the past 2 1/2 months, volunteers have donated their time on the weekends and local businesses have donated materials to create what Carroll considers to be a $75,000 garden project.
“We've had a real wonderful range of volunteers with different skills,” Carroll said. “Every bit counts and helps.”
Produce from the garden — such as tomatoes, lettuce, onions, leeks, carrots and cucumbers — are to be donated to local food banks as well as seniors in need. A soon-to-be-donated greenhouse will allow the garden to begin seeding for the next season this winter.
The garden is within walking distance from Peterborough Elementary and will definitely be used as a teaching environment for the Cornucopia Project, Carroll said.
The Peterborough Recreation Department also has plans to offer gardening classes there as well.
Carroll said there is a great deal of interest from the community in gardening from parents who want to garden with their preschoolers to seniors who remember their Victory Gardens of World War II.
“I think when the economy is not so healthy, people like to grow their own food,” she said.
On Sept. 8 and 9, volunteer timber framers are needed to help finished the amphitheater, Carroll said.
There is also to be a demonstration of creating a “living roof” on the shed that weekend, she said.
“It will be a really busy time for both visitors and those that want to pitch in, those that have the skills, for timber framing,” Carroll said.
A ribbon-cutting is also planned for mid-September. People who would like to volunteer can call (800) 284-0066 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A 2012 Harvest Dinner to support the new garden is set for Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Cornucopia Community Garden. Dinner, live music and auction tickets are $95 per person. Tickets can be purchased at www.cornucopiaproject.org.