BRISTOL - The new Gardening for Good program at the Indian Rock Nature Preserve donated fresh produce to food pantries and soup kitchens in the city every week throughout the growing season.
Plants were supplied by Winterberry Gardens of Southington and Wojtusik’s Garden & Nursery Center.
Fifteen volunteers planted seedlings, weeded and maintained the garden, harvested the vegetables and delivered them.
“It was a fabulous educational experience about gardening and agriculture, therapeutic to work in the earth and feel good to know the produce was benefiting those in need,” Joanna Perricone, a Gardening for Good volunteer, said.
Volunteer Angela Corsino, 15, said, “Working in the garden was a great experience. The best part was that all the hard work was going to such a great cause.”
Native flowering plants attracted pollinating insects into the garden and enhanced its beauty and diversity.
The garden had fresh tomatoes, herbs, green beans, lettuce, summer squash, corn, broccoli, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers and greens such as kale, collard and Swiss chard.
At the end of the summer over 50 bags of greens, a dozen bags of herbs, 17 boxes of tomatoes, nine bags of green beans, 75 zucchinis, 55 cucumbers, a few dozen peppers and eggplants and 25 heads of broccoli had been delivered to the Meals for the Needy program at the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Christian Fellowship Center’s Storehouse at 43 Prospect St.
“We at the Christian Fellowship Center would like to thank Indian Rock for all the organic produce they have given to us. This produce goes toward helping us feed those in need in our community. We appreciate all that are a part of the staff at Indian Rock for all their hard work. Thank you and God bless you,” said Pastor Dean Desjardins.
Cheryl Yekte, executive director of Meals for the Needy, said, “Your donation this summer has been wonderful. Our cooks and clients were very grateful for all the fresh veggies and herbs. On average, we serve 80 to 100 meals per night Monday through Thursday and help over 100 families per month with three to four bags of groceries. Thanks to your generous donation we were able to include fresh and healthy food.”
In addition to producing much-needed food, the garden also provided educational opportunities for campers at Indian Rock Summer Camp.
Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at email@example.com or at 860-973-5088.