Those carpentry and tromping sounds of people in the surrounding woods coming from the Mission Downeast campus are precursors to a new Downeast Family Garden Project, officially kicking off Sunday, May 1st. Eight raised bed are now installed for families to use.
The project is a Washington County collaborative venture involving Maine Seacoast Mission, Women for Healthy Rural Living (WHRL), and the Community Collaborative Initiative. Megan Smith, the Mission’s Food Security and Sustainability Programs Coordinator, will oversee the project situated at the Mission Downeast Campus in Cherryfield.
WHRL’s project goal is to help Washington County families grow their own vegetables in raised beds, which are basically planters. The eight wood raised beds for this project each measure 8’x3.’ On April 15th, said Megan Smith, she cut the lumber and Mission President John Zavodny “worked really hard putting the raised beds together. He was here on weekends, too,” said Megan.
“Last Friday, April 22nd, we placed the boxes and do something called hugelkultur. We have people going into the woods, finding rotting logs to place in the raised beds, then covering the logs with topsoil. The logs send nutrients into the soil which helps the plants,” said Megan.
The WHRL members will use two of the raised beds for demonstrating how to have a successful garden. On their website, WHRL says of the remaining raised beds, “Six families can sign up for raised beds. If they sign up, they agree:
- to participate in several work days throughout the season;
- to check-in on their raised bed regularly, and
- to assist with watering and weeding.
In return, they will receive seeds & seedlings for their raised beds, in-person guidance, a support network of family gardeners, and all the vegetables their garden produces.” To learn more about, or to sign up for the Downeast Family Garden Project, visit WHRL’s website.