Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gardening.... A Gateway Drug!

In the words of Roger Doiron, founding director of Kitchen Gardeners International:

"...It's not long after you plant a garden that you start to say...

'Hey, I need to start to learn how to cook!' "

Thank you, Twitter Feed!

(Yup, Growing in Franklin is on the Twitter, check us out! See who we follow, too!)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

We get the Best Mail.

We're all aglow.

Yes, veggies were grown. And eaten. And Shared. But....

When you turn green beans into Friends, well, a whole new world opens.

This is what it is all about.

Growing veggies = great,
Growing Gardeners = Outstanding!

Thank you for allowing us to share your note, Mary Cotillo!


"I've been meaning to write (but never seem to find time) to share some of the stories about our garden.  We grew tomatoes, beans, sugar snap peas, radishes, broccoli,carrots, green peppers, basil, and rosemary.  My four year old son was a huge fan of the garden.  Any time we were in the car and turned as we would to get to King Street, he would ask if we could check on our "beanie friends."  (I worried that identifying the beans as friends would make him reluctant to eat them.  Not so!  He loved to pick and eat them straight from the plant.)  While my daughter would practice soccer, my son and I would visit our "beanie friends."  He loved returning to the soccer field munching on a carrot with the greens still attached - "like a bunny."  Both kids loved seeing the sprouts grow, and they really loved eating the final product.  At dinner the other night, my daughter (9) picked at her pork chop, my son wouldn't touch his mashed potato, but they both ate two servings of green beans!  

Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity. " 

Mary Cotillo

8th Grade Language Arts
Horace Mann Middle School

You are so very, very Welcome!

(ssshhh..........I hear beets make great friends, too.........see you all next spring!)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

September in the Garden: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

September.  It always starts out summer day hot, and always ends in chilly morning frost here in our corner of New England.

In the garden, it is the best of times.  It can also be downright Ugly.

The tomatoes are trying to do everything at once.  They are at death's door and they know it; they hang on for just one more day of warm sun.  Most of the leaves on the vines have succumbed to whatever ill has come through, yet the ends are still alive and growing and setting fruit.

Below:  from the Pantry's Giving Garden.  
These will continue to ripen and will be delivered as they turn. 
There is double that amount still waiting for harvest.

Give 'em a week.  They are still looking healthy.  


It is a gamble, the picking game.
Too early, they won't turn.
Too late, they'll spot or crack.
Too cold, they will liquefy.

Last week's delivery was this:

Today's, a bit smaller:

It will dwindle to nothing soon.  

Come on, Garden.  Keep cranking those veggies out. 

I think you are beautiful.

Ugly at times:

 but mostly beautiful.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

August in the Garden

Hello Everyone,

The gardens are looking incredible.  Keep up the good work!

Many thanks to the Franklin DPW for our newest sign and recent waterworks tweaks.

Also a public thank you to a certain friend of the community gardens (ahem, that's you, Diane Rappa) for the donation of 3 compost bins she set aside for us last year!  They're up and running (or should that be cooking?)

Here's a couple of pics from the garden front:

Merrie Whitney's first tomatoes of the season!

2 cases of lettuce from the Giving Garden Beds for the Franklin Food Pantry, wow!

green and wax beans, also headed to the Pantry

Here's the gardenmail in case you missed it:

A notice to all Franklin Community Gardeners:

1-Please harvest your produce regularly......if you are on vacation ask a fellow gardener to harvest for you and perhaps donate to the Franklin Food Pantry;

2-One of the agreed terms to renting a plot is to keep the surrounding area well kept....please weed the area AROUND your raised bed and if the mood strikes you please weed some of the common area near the fence;

3-Regarding the Franklin Food Pantry:  There will be boxes at the garden on Friday from 6:00pm-7:00pm. If you have extra produce kindly place in the box and it will be delivered to the pantry.  You can also take your produce to the pantry yourself if need be.

4- If you are growing veggies or fruits that have taken over your bed with considerate of your neighbor and don't let those vines take over their plot;

5-A reminder: to drain the hose after you water;  the water is on until 8:00pm every night.

6-Some have inquired about the volunteer hours that is needed by each plot renter.....this year we are not going to keep track of the volunteer hours performed but here are a few ideas to help out...
  a. See number two above,
  b.  When we schedule a work day to build, repair, clean the area...try to attend
  c.  Come to our meetings; we hold them twice a month....plan to attend at least one a month:(Sept 12, 26) (Oct 17) (Nov. 7, 28)
  d.  Participate in Plant-a-row  (see website for more information)
  e.  Come and talk with your neighbor....great way to get recipes for all your freshly picked produce!
Committee of the Franklin Community Gardens

Enjoy Your Harvests! 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

July Community Garden Update

July is here and the community garden is looking spectacular!

Important Garden Updates 

New Watering Window -  We received a number of requests to have water available earlier in the day for those who would like to water before work, and now you can.  The water will be available from 6am until 8pm.  If you experience any issues with early morning water please contact the garden coordinator.

Missing Decorations - We received reports of several missing ornaments from the garden.  If an extra ornament shows up in your bed please let us know, and if more go missing please report it to the garden coordinator.

Garden Coordinator Hours  -  Chris Clay will be in the garden this Friday July 8th from 6pm to 6:30pm or until the last question is answered.  As always if you have specific questions feel free to contact the garden coordinator with the via e-mail at any time.

Garden Work Day - Mark your calendars and save the date for the morning of July 23.  We're looking to install the garden's compost bins and do additional maintenance around the garden.  More information to follow. 


The Franklin Community Garden Committee and Friends of Franklin Community Gardens

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Office Hours, Hot Weather, Watering, and More!

Hello Community and Gardeners!

The garden is greening up, growing up, and looks absolutely wonderful.  Folks are adding their own personal touches which helps make community gardens such special places. Come by and say hello to our gardeners.

{There's just something about a garden fence. Strangers quickly become aquaintances: leaning, talking, listening, watching. Conversation happens.  People of all ages are connecting, talking veggies or weather or fingernails or whatever.  It's working!}

Here's a (long, grab a snack!) update:

Open Spots:

There are a couple of open spots available and we are going down our wait list and contacting folks to fill them. 

Gardening Help:

Garden Coordinator Chris Clay will be holding "Office Hours" at the garden this Saturday morning, June 11th from 9:00 am until 10:00 am.  If you have questions, or need advice, please swing by.

Weather Forecast this week: Hot Hot Hot:

Water well! Your plants will appreciate extra water this week! Might hit 100 on Thursday!
(Please tell me that's just a rumour, so early for That )

Remember to slowly and thoroughly soak the base of the plants at the soil line rather than sprinkle from above.  Bright sun will be magnified by the water droplets on the leaves and will actually burn the plants; remember science class when you took your magnifying glass outside and burned things?  Same thing.  Also, if you overhead water during the heat of the day, you could possibly cook (steam) your plants.  Save that for after harvest! If you can get to the garden twice a day, morning and dinnertime-ish, your plants will be happy. 

Pepper plants like it hot, but not too wet, so if you are growing peppers, one good soak a day will do it unless they are tiny seedlings that need to not completely dry out.


Don't forget to check for weeds in the path areas around your raised bed.  Simply pull some of the wood chip mulch aside, pull those weeds, and replace the mulch.  We will be setting up a compost area later this week, for now a small pile at the rear fence will do fine. Maybe a sign?  Feeling artistic?  Surprise us!

Section Coordinators Needed:

We are going to be on the lookout for a few section coordinators for the garden who will keep an eye on their area, and act as a liason to the garden committee.  Do you have to be an expert gardener for this?  No.
A section coordinator will simply keep track of the gardeners in their area, be a point person for a gardener to notify if they will be on vacation and need coverage watering, or if they are ill and will be unable to attend their plot for a short period.  They will have the contact info for the plots in their area, and can coordinate with the gardeners in their section to cover for one another.  It is also a good way to keep gardeners talking to each other. As a coordinator, you might have to occasionally gently remind folks about weeding and keeping tidy and following the rules.  If a problem arises, pass it on to the committee and we will take it from there. 

Franklin Community Garden Committee Meetings:

Here are the  upcoming garden committee meeting dates, we'd love to have you join us for your input.
We meet on Mondays at the Municipal Building at 6:30 pm, you can check what room we will be in by visiting our Committee Page on the Town website and clicking on 'Agendas:'

June 20
June 27
July 18
July 25
August 8
August 22

There's always room for more at the table!  If you dig community gardens, and live in Franklin, and are available on a couple Monday evenings per month, you could be our newest committee member! Get involved!

Thank You:

Hoses are now hanging on spiffy holder things, thanks to Kim & Greg!

The Food Pantry gardens are chock full of donated plants from Grateful Farm, Tangerini's, Perduco Seedlings, and generous gardeners.  A fine crew has been tending as well, great job!

Have a great week!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Community Garden = Bundle of Sticks

What does a bundle of sticks have to do with a community garden?

Let’s step back a bit, and I will explain.

Last year, my youngest son came home with a short play script from an Open Circle meeting he attended in Mrs. Sherlock’s kindergarten class at Oak Street Elementary School.

The play was titled A Bundle of Sticks.   It was about a man and his 4 sons and a problem they were having (fighting amongst each other) and how a solution brought them together.

Read it for yourself:

(click to enlarge)
That paper from school did not go in the read/recycle box at home.  It went into my raggedy community garden binder, a collection of dreams and lists and examples of community gardens that had yet to be shared with anyone. 

My takeaway was that the bundle of sticks could represent any Big Problem for any project.  It was not about arguing; it was inspiration about solution-finding. That one person could not possibly break a bundle of sticks alone.

One day in May of last year, after having finally connected with a group of folks who had future community garden dreams as well, I re-opened my folder and saw the play.

What we had here was a really, really big bundle of sticks.  A full truckload of sticks.  How could we possibly make a real community garden? Even more, get one done in less than a year? Where in the heck would we even begin?

By giving out that truckload of sticks.

One twig at a time.

to everyone and anyone who extended an open hand.

And then everyone broke their stick,

(or stick after stick after stick)

Until that Huge load of sticks

Turned into a pile of broken sticks

Which, in turn, became


Thank You to Everyone who broke sticks with us, or for us.  

Look what you have helped create:


What’s your particular bundle of sticks?

For more information on Open Circle:

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Franklin Resident Steve Sherlock was kind enough (and tech-y enough!) to capture the Grand Opening of Franklin's brand new King Street Memorial Community Garden on video and streamed it live.

On Franklin Matters

How cool is that?

Tommorow, pictures.

The garden as I left today was full of life and growing things.

Way more than a garden.

Come visit.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Community Garden Grand Opening This Saturday 9 AM!

The Franklin Community Garden Committee is proud to announce that the Grand Opening Day of Franklin's first community garden will take place this Saturday, May 28th at King Street Memorial Park located off King Street in Franklin. A ribbon-cutting will be held at 9:00 a.m. 

A fundraiser plant sale is planned as well featuring locally grown vegetable starts.

Plots were assigned through a lottery drawing and winners have been notified. A wait list has been established as well.

Gardeners who have paid the lease fee may begin working in their plots on Opening Day. Lease payments are due by June 7th and will be collected by Franklin Recreation. Gardening can not begin until the $40 fee has been paid.  Payments can be made at the Recreation Department at 150 Emmons Street (Old Town Hall). The hours are Mon, Tues, and Thurs 8:30-4:30; Wed 8:30-6:30pm, and Fridays 8:30-1:30 pm
The garden features 46 large raised beds leased to gardeners. The Franklin Food Pantry will garden 4 of those beds; other beds have been assigned to individuals, families, and community groups.  Several of the beds are designed for easy access.

Many of the gardeners will be participating the Franklin's Plant A Row to Share program.

For more information on  Plant A Row, please visit

Here's a picture from (a very sunburned!) Garden Coordinator Chris Clay taken just after he & committee member Deb Schwab numbered the beds, thank you Chris & Deb,  on this very afternoon the day before we open:

The guys  from the Fence Co. are keeping it real.  Down to the wire, and we are unbelievably grateful.
Hope they never know that they are now shirtless on the web as well.   The fence guys, not Chris and Deb. It was hot. They are entitled.

See you all  tomorrow!!!
Wear shirts though, okay? I blush easily.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We know who the winners are!

And if you registered for a raised bed, you will have your answer very soon.

The Community Garden Committee will email and/or phone you Wednedsay with either some

Good News: Your number was drawn! (42 winneers)
 or, some
 Okay News:  You're on the Waitlist (party of 15.)

Once winners have been notified, they will be responsible for the $40 fee, this will be handled by Franklin Recreation.

Welcome packets and garden info will be made available to the Gardeners, these will be available for pickup at the Grand Opening at the garden on Saturday, May 28th at 9:00 a.m. as well as at the Rec office and online.

No Gardener should begin to work in the garden until Saturday, May 28th, and must have a confirmation that the fee has been processed. 

Lottery winners will have until June 7th to pay their lease, any unpaid beds will then go down the waitlist.

Looks like we are going to need to build another garden or few, someday, somewhere.

I stopped by Tuesday afternoon while the fence poles were going up,  nice work, guys!

Got a good look at the (sub)soil from the post hole diggers.  Yuck. 

It is a Good Thing we have raised beds, and deep ones at that.

The bed mix is about 50% organic compost and 50% screened loam.  It will grow wonderful veggies for you, and will feed them well, no fertilizer needed.  When things settle down, maybe I can get Garden Coordinator Chris back in here to do a raised bed post.  It's a little crazy right now, getting this garden set up.  Just a bit.

Looks like it is going to be a nice weekend......A great weekend to get your garden going!

There will be veggie plants for sale as well, so if you are looking for some local stuff, come on by this Saturday!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

And the Winner is........

Don't worry, we haven't drawn yet, there's still time to get yourself or your organization entered.

We are so very excited about the King Street Community Garden lottery!

There are a few more days to register, the lottery closes at 3 p.m. on Monday, May 23.

click here to jump to registration link at Franklin Rec
or drop by the Franklin Recreation Dept on Emmons Street during business hours.

As of this writing, there are 52 entrants.  Goosebumps. (and to think we were worried that the garden might not fill............well, no problemo, it seems.  You all are just as pumped as we are!)

Out of the 46 raised beds that have been built and filled, we are reserving 4 for the Franklin Food Pantry (more on that later), which leaves 42:  4 will be Easy Access, 8 will be for groups/organizations (faith, scouts, other nonprofits) and 30 for Franklin households/individuals. 

The drawing will be done that evening, Monday May 23rd, at the Franklin Community Garden Committee meeting at which starts at 6:30 pm.  That meeting, as are all of the meetings, will be held at the Franklin Municipal Bldg on West Central Street, Room 205 on the 2nd floor.  Winners do not need to be present, but it would add to the fun (thrill! joy! etc!) if some were.  I am bringing cookies.....

Save the Date:  Saturday, May 28th
Opening Day at the Garden!!!!

yep, we're planning a bit of something.........

Here's a glamour shot from Saturday, May 14th:

The beds are Done!

The garden will soon be fenced and have running water, as well as lovely woodchip paths.

Standing ovation to our outstanding volunteers the past 2 Saturdays who rolled up their sleeves and made this happen. 

We would just be looking at a
pile of lumber and dirt
if it weren't  for All of You. 

Heartfelt Thanks.

Please visit the Thank You page to see what a community can do together, and thank the businesses and individuals for their contribution.

until next week.............

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Build Day Success!

Thanks to a hardy bunch of volunteers we had an amazingly successful build day today.  We completed 44 of our planed 46 beds, and we stopped short only because we had some cracked boards in the mix that we had to discard.  I was so busy throughout the day I wasn't able to take any pictures, so with a little narcissism thrown in you get the one David took of me at the end of build day.

The build day started with plenty of chaos as we quickly realized that our cordless drill battery packs weren't going to get us through the build.  Quick work by Jim got us a generator to charge batteries on, and access to outlets at the King St. concession stand to charge more.  With ratchets, and a cycle of battery packs we put together around twenty of the beds by lunch.

I'd like to thank the town for helping get our compost and loam into the garden this morning for easier access.  We managed to fill a few of the boxes with compost and loam thanks to our volunteer bobcat driver, but a prior commitment meant he had to leave early.  We will finish filling the rest sometime in the coming week.  Once we have more details we'll be looking for a few brave souls to help us finish the beds off.  It'll be an exciting couple of hours of raised bed jigsaw as we move them around to make room for the bobcat and then move them back into their final positions to be filled in turn. 

I'd like to call out the ingenuity of our team leaders in coming up with modifications to optimize the build process from pre-drilling and setting up screws ahead of time to standing the raised beds on edge to ease lining up the boards.  I've always considered genius the ability to adapt to any situation to produce excellent results, and our team leaders and volunteers certainly did so with flourish.

The afternoon saw the addition of another generator and corded drills which provided a steady addition to the cordless drills.  It also heralded an amazing thunderstorm with driving rain and hail!  Huddled under our tents our roaring laughter at a steady stream of jokes and physical comedy was something I'll never forget.

Once the sky cleared we quickly finished off the last of the beds, and called it a day and started breaking down almost an hour ahead of schedule.

Once again a great big thank you to all of our volunteers!  The various levels of compression mangled my time lapse images of the build day somewhat, but my first render is up on youtube.  You can see the whole day unfold in about ten minutes.


Chris Clay, The Franklin Community Garden Committee, and Friends of Franklin Community Gardens, Inc.

PS. Sorry Ryan and Carlos for driving my car on your fields, but it was the only way to get the big generator to its needed location!

Friday, May 6, 2011

And Now, A Few Words From Our Captain

Have you met Chris yet?
He's the go-to guy for the garden at King Street, our Garden Coordinator.
This went out tonight to all the volunteers. It was too awesome not to share.

Hello Everyone,

After a full day at the King St. Park overseeing the delivery of the compost/loam, and spray painting the aisles we're more than ready for tomorrow to be here.  We'd like to send a big thank you to Archie Acevedo for handling the pre-cutting of all of our wood for build day.  We're going to be in great shape thanks to his efforts.  Another big thank you to the YMCA for their financial support through the Mass in Motion grant to pay for build day.  I'd also like to extend a big thank you to Whole Foods for providing a plethora of snacks for us tomorrow. Last but not least, a giant thank you to all of you for volunteering your time. 

By all accounts mother nature has decided to blow in some unpleasant weather for us with scattered showers on the docket for tomorrow.  We will have three large tents on hand to help us shelter through showers, but be sure to bring some wet weather gear.  At this point we are planning with moving forward with build day and trying to work around the weather.  If it gets really nasty we will call it and move the remaining work to our rain day May 14th.  In the event we do call it we will send out an e-mail to alert all of the afternoon crowd.

To re-iterate there will not be any power on site, so if you have a cordless drill please bring it along with your shovels, rakes, forks, and wheelbarrows.  We will have a bobcat to assist in moving dirt to the beds, but we will be doing some work by hand so get ready to get dirty!  We will be using 3/8th Hex Bits to drive the Timberlok screws.  We will have 11 of these bits on site, so we will not need anyone to bring additional bits.

I hope you all have a great night sleep, and I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow at 9am or in the afternoon from 1-4pm.


Chris Clay,  The Franklin Community Garden Committee, and Friends of Franklin Community Gardens, Inc.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Garden Registration is Officially Open!

Calling all prospective Gardeners!
The wait is OVER!

Hop on over to the Franklin Rec page and sign up! click on the words  Online registration, below:

Community Garden
Sign up online for a plot to grow your own vegetables at the King Street Community Gardens.  Or volunteer to help out on Build Day (May 7, either 9am-12pm or 1pm-4pm).  Register on our Online registration

Important: when the link opens, Click on "Register for Activities", then select "Community Garden".
How's it going to work? You ask.
Sign up for the lottery online, hurry up, get your name in or register for your community group because the deadline for the drawing is May 23rd at 3:00 p.m.  It is free to enter the lottery, winners will be responsible for the $40 per season charge for a plot.  A "plot" in this garden is actually a 4 foot by 10 foot by approx. 24" high raised bed, filled with a mix of organic compost and screened loam. The sides will be untreated spruce.

If you can not or choose not to do this online, you may go to the Franklin Recreation Department during business hours.

On Friday May 23rd, we will do the lottery drawing in public at the Franklin Community Garden Committee meeting held at the Franklin Municipal Bldg on East Central St, room 205, at 6:30 p.m.  You will be notified if you or your group was assigned a space, and you will be charged the $40.  You do not need to be present for the drawing, but there might be, like, cookies....Just saying.

The Garden's Official Opening Day is lined up for Saturday, May 28th, weather permitting.

Thank you to everyone who has helped bring this project closer to reality.  The major "pinch me" moment will come on Saturday morning, Build Day, but as I walked through King Street recently through the stakes and over to the water pipe and mentally surveyed the site, I about lost it.  Clicking on the Build Day sign up form and seeing new names---out of the woodwork, out of the ether---Names attached to People who will be digging and building and hauling and creating and making and growing and sharing. 

That is community building, my friends. Franklin, you totally rock.

If you are just hearing about this new community garden now, hope you can join us on Saturday, May 7th for Build Day.  Click on the top of this page to volunteer---Sign Up for Build Day---and meet us at the park on Saturday.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sign up Form for Build Day!

Calling all Volunteers!
Sign up for Build Day!

Click on this link to open the registration form:

click on this FORM

email us at

Friday, April 22, 2011

Build Day! May 7th

We need several Team Leaders ASAP to help things run smoothly, please contact Chris!

                                                BUILD DAY 

                               BUILD DAY

                               BUILD DAY

                             Your presence is cordially requested on


                                MAY 7th  

          Team Leaders needed,

    contact Chris Clay at
                 for details 

             Make history! Make a Garden!

--full details and signups for Build Day will be forthcoming--

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Sneak Peek

Wonderful things are on the way.

Here's a look at the future:

This graphic shows the prospective layout of the community garden at King Street. Chris Clay did this plan in collaboration with Jim Esterbrook of Franklin DPW.

Here's a view of the area, recently staked out:

And here is Chris's son Gabe, waiting by the one of the gates:

all image credits: Chris Clay

The Town's newly appointed Franklin Community Garden Committee's first official meeting will be held on Thursday, April 21st at 9 A.M. in Room 205 of the Franklin Municipal Bldg. It is open to the public.

If you would like to be added to the community garden mail list to receive updates on the Big Build, garden space signup info, volunteer opportunities, the Franklin Food Pantry Giving Garden Team, Plant A Row Franklin, and more, please send an email to

We have had a bit of re-organizing with the separation of the town committee and the Friends group, all good, and we are all busy with making things happen. Be in the know when it happens: get on the mail list, come to meetings, subscibe to this blog. Make it happen with us!

Race you to the Gate!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Resolution 11-09

Bringing you all up to speed:

On April 6, 2011, the Franklin Town Council adopted Resolution 11-09:
Creation of the Franklin Community Gardens Committee!

Not only that, the Council also approved the motion to appoint 5 members to the committee, folks who have been toiling away for months to get a community garden started here in town. Being a Town Committee will help with having a presence on municipal land, partnering with the various departments such as Rec, DPW, etc.

Members of the FCG Town Committee:
Amy Acevedo
Chris Clay
Nicole Harter
Deb Schwab
Teresa Triana

The work of the FCG Committee will be to get the gardens up and running.
A separate group is in the process of incorporating as a nonprofit as well:
The Friends of Franklin Community Gardens. This second group will be the fundraising arm of the gardens, as the Town committee can not solicit for donations. The Friends group will operate in a similar fashion as the other Friends groups in Franklin. This keeps everything where it should be, and it may be a bit confusing at first, but it will gel.

What will the role of this website be now that there are 2 different groups?

I don't exactly know, but it is a good place to post news and information for both at the moment. What I do know is that the first Community Garden is really, truly happening at King Street Memorial Park, the fence-to-be has already been staked out.

The Town Committee will be having regular public meetings which will be posted on the Municipal calendar and general information on how to sign up or volunteer will be posted on the Recreation Department section on the Town website, that is in the works, so stay tuned. This site will most likely be the Friends connection once the FCG committee gets going.

As soon as the FCG committee sets the meeting dates I will post links here as well as agenda information and links to the minutes as we will be following the Open Meeting laws.

I shared this with a few folks recently, but it is worth repeating:

"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality."

John Lennon (1940-1980)

Thank you to all the dreamers-turned-doers!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Seed Money!

Here's a plug for an event coming up next THIS weekend----some of the funds raised will be earmarked to support our community garden effort.  Thank you to our friends at New England Chapel! 

Music and Marketplace Night

 Lend a Hand, Hear a Band, Support a Change
Date: Apr 9, 2011
Time: From 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm
Location: New England Chapel

40 Kenwood Circle
Franklin, MA  02038
Members of NEC will be raising funds through the sale of beverages, food, crafts ...and an auction! While exploring the Marketplace, there will be great music from live bands. All proceeds will support restoration work in:
  • Louisiana through CRWRC
  • Haiti through Mission E4
  • Franklin Garden Association, a community garden initiative
Read more about the event here

Thank you, Friends.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

Spring is in the air---but it sure feels like Thanksgiving!
Taking a moment to acknowledge all the wonderful things taking root around us:

Thank You, Town.
For supporting us, and for making it possible.

Thank You, Jeff Nutting.
For taking us seriously and opening doors (or should that be gates?)

Thank You, Steering Committee.
For your hopes and dreams.
For late night meetings, emails, and phone calls. 
For writing, creating, designing, coordinating, and networking.

Thank You, Community of Friends.
For spreading the word and digging in your pocket.
For supporting community gardens and sharing your strength.
For helping us plant way more than just a garden.

We are all so very Thankful.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Community Meeting 2/28/11

You are invited to join us this coming Monday evening  Feb. 28th from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. as we share our progress for the community garden.
We will meet at the Super Stop & Shop in Franklin, in the community room located on the 2nd floor. 
This is a true community meeting and is open to all.  Please join us, and bring a friend!
Thank you, Stop and Shop!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Closer and Closer (and save the date, 2/28/11)

It has been a while since the last update, but rest assured, we have been busy!
We held a committee meeting last night 2/16/11 to discuss our progress and next steps.

Take a break and catch-up for a few minutes:

What we have done so far:
1. Found like-minded gardeners and volunteers in our community through 2 community meetings

2. Listed our visions for a community garden in Franklin

3. Met with the Town Administrator to discuss possible locations, and got some great ideas!

4. Went on a site looky-see

5. Set our sights (or should I say sites!) on a sunny section of grass at King Street Memorial Park

6. Got our to-do list from Mr. Nutting: (daunting, but totally do-able)

He advised us to put together a proposal that included, but was not limited to, the following:
Rules and Regulations
Garden Leadership
Plot allocation---lottery, or first come, first served?
Site Prep---what were we looking to do and who would do it?
Water use
Legal stuff---Liability, Insurance

7. Are you still with us here? Just checking! We need you.

8. We formed a steering committee and elected committee members and chairs, and please, if you would like to help, come join a committee!  Share your strength.

9.  Developed a fantastic layout and model of the King Street Garden. Chris Clay, please take a bow.  Amazing Job!

10. Realized that if this was going to happen that we needed to double that to-do list by looking toward becoming a formal group with all the incorporation/non-profit/legal fun forms/by-laws/articles etc.

11.  So, we are, in addition to the Town to-do list, currently working on the following:

12.  Incorporating,

13.  Applying for 501c3 non-profit status so that we may apply for and receive funding and grants and tax-deductible donations,

14. Drafting by-laws (insert cheering, encouraging crowd sounds here, please, it'll help with that finish-line thing)

15. Sourcing insurance.  Community garden insurance policies?  They're pretty rare.  In fact, they did away with them in New York City in 2006 for community gardens located on city-owned property.

16.  Developing Rules and Regulations,

17.  Determining what our budgeting needs will be based on initial and recurring expenses

18.  Deciphering responsibilities---Us, the Town. 

(Hard to do when there has been no real dialogue with other town departments. Yet. We have to spin this all together, first, then submit it.  To the Town.  Hopefully to the entire Town Council, this March.  Are we in for a "No, Thank You?"  I don't see that.  It is just so new, no precedence here yet.  There is no existing policy in place for community gardens on municipal land in Franklin, so we will pave the way for one, together. Because you know there will be more, we've got plans for the future, too. Oh yeah, we're on it. After this one.) 

19.  Committees are also making their lists:  funding, youth involvement, volunteer opportunities, food pantry garden.

20.  Remember, it takes a community to make a community garden. We're grateful for your support. Thank you, everyone.

We will be gathering again as a larger group, a community meeting,  at the end of February.
We are finalizing the location and will post it as soon as we can.
(Hint:  save the evening of the 28th for us!  Around 7 pm)
(That's a Monday.)