EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

June 3, 2014

Community gardens are popular in the Granite State

Camaraderie part of the appeal of community gardens

Community gardens are facing an interesting challenge — too many people are signing up.

Space is in short supply, even in Windham, which just broke ground for its community last week. Every one of the 20 plots at 122 N. Lowell Road has been claimed.

There’s more than vegetables growing in the new garden, community development director Laura Scott said, town spirit is flourishing, too.

“We had people that had lived in town 20 years, and they had met someone they never met before just because they were at the garden,” Scott said.

At the community garden in Salem, a sense of camaraderie carries through all 27 plots on Town Farm Road, garden organizer Joan Blondin said.

“You sort of have a trust with each other and you feel comfortable,” Blondin said. “You’re working with the earth and you’re not having to deal with the government, with the frustrations that are out there.”

Gardeners grow just about everything at Salem’s community garden. One person even grows potatoes, which bring their own problems.

But the solutions aren’t far away.

“If you know anything about gardening, they bring potato bugs,” Blondin said. “If I see something I know isn’t correct and the gardener isn’t there, I’ll take it off their plant without saying, ‘boo.’ Everybody helps everybody else out.”

Wildlife can be a problem, as can a variety of other garden pests. But most community gardeners don’t let them get under their skin, Derry Community Garden organizer Peg Kinsella said.

“It’s a lot of work,” she said. “It’s a lot of weeding and, quite often, there are problems with the wildlife — the woodchucks and deer. But those who come back can put up with all this.”

All 50 plots at Derry’s Broadview Farm are spoken for, Kinsella said.

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