, Derry, New Hampshire


June 12, 2014

Derry residents are making their gardens grow

Community gardens are popular with residents

DERRY — Andy Yasment has worked this ground for eight years.

He has returned to the rich soil of Broadview Farm for another growing season.

The 78-acre, town-owned Broadview conservation property once again offers community gardens to residents.

The community garden program began about 10 years ago. This year, the popular garden effort offered 50 plots to anyone wanting a space.

“There are a lot of regulars, about 12 new faces and a lot returning,” said Peg Kinsella, garden organizer and a member of Derry’s Conservation Commission.

Kinsella has organized the gardens for many years. She said the gardeners become like a family at Broadview, sharing growing tips and offering advice.

It’s a true community effort, she said.

That includes a supply of rich compost ready for any gardener to use, provided by the Go Green Committee’s three-part composting system installed near the garden plots.

J & F Farms’ patriarch Phil Ferdinando also contributes each year, tilling the plots just in time for planting.

Conservation Commission members do the garden staking and plot out the land.

“The community aspect of it is nice,” Yasment said. “We just put the plants in.”

The Walnut Hill Road resident said he returns to Broadview each year to plant his salsa garden. His own property is too shady and wooded for a garden, he said.

“I grow moss really well,” he said.

For gardeners who need some back relief while working the soil, Broadview also offers a raised bed, high enough so people don’t have to bend over very far.

“They are really happy about that and they love it,” Kinsella said. “You don’t have to bend over at all.”

Plots are unique to their growers. One plot has a chair situated within the fence for some quiet time. A nearby plot has solar spikes installed to light up the garden after dark. Another has a handmade ladder system for beans.

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