Springfield Garden Club backs the program to grow fruits and vegetables on vacant lots

Springfield Garden Club backs the program to grow fruits and vegetables on vacant lots

SPRINGFIELD– The Springfield Garden Club helps improve food in urban neighborhoods while promoting its mission.

“SGC’s mission includes, ‘… working to create interest in gardening, stimulating the promotion of civic beauty through gardening and conservation …’ and we feel that Gardening the Community is achieving this,” said Mary E. Bandouveres, Advertising Chair.

That’s why the club recently donated $ 1,078 to Gardening the Community, which runs a training program created for young people from the Mason Square neighborhood and on to grow fruits and vegetables on vacant and abandoned grounds.

“Despite the pandemic, the SGC has been able to remain active and productive. We wanted to share our wealth with an area organization that exemplifies our values,” Bandouveres said.

The donation was handed over by Garden Club President Vana Nespor to Ramon Elliston, Gardening the Community Farm Store Manager; Toussaint Paskins, Gardening Community Assistant Director for Youth Management and Agriculture; and his son Jaiden Jimenez.

“The donation is critical,” said Toussaint, who took Nespor on a tour of the new experimental winter composting unit and showed her the various kale varieties still growing vigorously in the gardens.

Products are sold at Gardening the Community’s Farm Store at 200 Walnut St., Mason Square Farmers Market, local restaurants and pubs. Young people also take food home to their families.

The Garden Club previously donated $ 543 to Gardening the Community in January last year.

“SGC has always promoted all types of gardening, including food gardens. We have had many programs that apply to gardening, including topics like mulching, how to help our endangered pollinators, and our monthly program on February 18 will be about growing and using herbs, ”Bandouveres said.

The Garden Club has a Horticultural Study Group, which meets during the year and which dives deeper into such topics.

“Everyone should pay attention to those who are food insecure, but especially gardeners, as they have the knowledge and skills to actively help,” Bandouveres said. “We can share our knowledge and skills with others to help them learn to provide fresh fruit and vegetables for themselves. We can plant a little extra in our gardens and plan to share the bounty with pantries and soup kitchens. And if someone has not a garden, they can shop at the GTC food stand or go to gardeningthecommunity.org and donate something to their wish list. ”

For more information on the Garden Club, go to gcfm.org/springfieldgardenclub.

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