Lauren Dorsey ’14, Lucy Soule ’14, Sarah Long ’12, Lucy Cho ’12, Julia Wood ’12, Sarah Brooks ’12, Hannah Gain ’14, and faculty child Wells Graney spent two hours at the Growing Places Garden Project, working to build a garden for a Fitchburg family.
The Growing Places Garden Project supplied all the materials: forms for the three raised beds, soil and fertilizer, fencing and posts. The Groton students first lined the forms with brown paper and newspapers, then filled the forms with soil, mixing in nutrients and organic fertilizers. They installed a fence as well as support for a trellis on which climbing plants can grow. The forms were sectioned off to make it easy for the family to plant the seeds and seedlings, which also were provided.
Families who receive these gardens are paired with master gardeners who help them throughout the various stages of the garden’s growth, from identifying seedlings from weeds and learning the best time to harvest to handling bugs and other pests. Assistance continues the second year, with seedlings, seeds, and advice as the family becomes more adept at gardening. In the third year, the family is offered slightly less assistance as they move toward competency and fluency in the language of vegetable gardening.
The Groton gardeners were able to get off campus, give the gift of fresh produce with their labor, and enjoy each other’s company. The day was topped off by a visit to Johnson’s for well-deserved ice cream cones.