Greens Farms Garden Club

Women Helping Women

Growing For Good, our largest current project, grows and donates organic vegetables to women and families in our neighboring community of Bridgeport, which is a fresh food desert.  During the pandemic our club researched and created this project to help needy people eat healthily by growing and donating vegetables to a local food bank.   Our recipient is Mercy Learning Center in Bridgeport, CT.  The women there are so thankful for fresh organic vegetables, which make such a difference in their lives.   To begin, we were able to procure growing space at St. Timothy’s Church in Fairfield and at Wakeman Town Farm in Westport.  The first year we had 28 members involved, 345 volunteer hours, 23 weekly harvests, and donated 745 bags of fresh produce.  Last year we doubled our growing space as the owners of Westport’s Prospect Gardens offered us two large plots.

In that second year 34 members were involved, 633 volunteer hours, 23 harvests and almost 1600 pounds of organic vegetables were donated. This third year we were given the entire vegetable garden at Prospect Gardens. This doubled our growing space. We continue to have one plot at Wakeman Town Farm. The 2023 GFG season is well under way with succession plantings of several crops.   We were the recipient of the Plant America Grant from the National Garden Clubs in February of 2022, which gave us monies to purchase a LED seed starting system to grow our plants from organic seeds.  This year we received the AMES Companies Tool grant of $250; an Espoma Co. grant of $250; and the Coast of Maine Co. donated $250 of their products.    Ganim’s Garden Center of Fairfield and Gilbertie’s Herbs and Garden in Westport continue to be involved.

Crops this third season are tomatoes, kale, radishes, cucumbers, lettuce, zucchini, carrots, onions, garlic, chard, peppers, rhubarb, scallions, beets, beans, basil, eggplant, thyme and lavender. We have community friends donating peaches and apples.   Our largest weekly donation in mid-August was 52.50 pounds and aiming for more!  We welcome the help of community members who grow and donate vegetables and fruit to Growing For Good.

Prospect Gardens participates in the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program, with over 200 appreciative visitors in 2022.  The local Pollinator Pathways group also toured. Other visitors to our garden include Lee Ganim of Ganim’s Garden Center, Chairwoman Tammy Barry and Board Members of Mercy Learning Center and Nan Merolla, 1st Vice President of Federated; all tending and harvesting with us.

Growing For Good has been a tremendous success in its first two years, thanks to the hard and diligent work of our volunteers.   Our GFGC members are a dedicated group that enjoy tending and harvesting, sharing garden skills, learning about growing vegetables, camaraderie and fun in the garden over the summer months. Their hard work results in great fresh vegetables for women in need. We look forward to increasing our donations of fresh organic vegetables to Mercy Learning Center this year and in the future.  Women helping Women!  Check out our project at www.greensfarmsgardenclub.org  or our Facebook Page for more information.

Respectively Submitted

Maybette Waldron

President, Past Chairwoman of Growing For Good