Saturday, April 10, 2010

Franklin raises a garden

Several groups in the community will be coordinating their efforts to build 11 raised gardens on 6 locations as part of the Earth Day activities, April 17th.

The Franklin Community Garden project began as a cooperative effort between the Franklin Hockomock Bernon YMCA, New England Chapel, and Franklin Foods Pantry. These groups share a common interest in the long term goal of developing a community garden in Franklin.

The purpose of community gardening is to develop a sustainable culture of food growth, to provide education for both children and adults, and to provide less advantaged community members access to fresh, healthy produce. Our first step to reaching the long term goal of a community garden is to accomplish the short term goal of developing 15 raised garden beds throughout Franklin. These community garden beds will develop relationships between community members and develop the infrastructure for a broader community garden.    We will be engaging community partners such as schools, faith organizations, other non-profit organizations and other committed community members to participate in the project.

This Community Garden project is partly funded by the Hockomock YMCA and $60,000 grant received by MetroWest Community Healthcare Foundation.

The project is also grateful for the following contributions:

  • Lumber and building supplies are being provided and subsidized by Koopman Lumber Co.
  • Compost and soil is being donated and delivered to the garden sites by Steve Nedoroscik from McIntyre Materials
  • Laura Tangerini of Tangerini's Farm in Millis is donating seedlings and transplants in addition to help/advice as needed

The planning committee met at Cafe Dolce this past week:

  • Deb Schwab, Ben Franklin Charter School
  • Lauren Marciszyn, YMCA                 
  • Ken Norman, Franklin Senior Center
  • Robin McLaughlin, United Way
  • Nicole Harter, Franklin resident & key contributor
  • Jodi Koeman, New England Chapel
  • Leann Danielson, YMCA
  • Amy Cornwell, New England Chapel &  Cornerstone Christian Academy
  • Sandy Bryant, Franklin resident & key contributor 

What will happen with the produce from the gardens?
Food/harvest obtained from the raised beds should be used at the sites for foods/meals and a portion of the food grown/produced will be donated to those Franklin community members with limited access to fresh produce via the Franklin Food Pantry. 
What will be planted?
Currently planning to have a gardener to work with each site to determine the crops to be planted, a planting schedule, regular maintenance plans, and harvest.  The hope would be that the gardeners would work with the sites to help meet their needs, but also to communicate with other site gardeners to share ideas and knowledge.
When will the raised beds be constructed?
The plan is to coordinate this with Earth Day on April 17th. Each bed location will be a building site. The building materials to be delivered to each site a couple of days prior.  
Where will be the raised beds be located?

Currently there are 11 beds planned at six sites in Franklin

  • Hockomock YMCA
  • Cornerstone Christian Academy/New England Chapel
  • Ben Franklin Charter School
  • Franklin Food Pantry
  • Senior Center
  • Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC)

What can I do to help?
If you are part of one of the sites where a bed will be located, there should be a contact person with information. Otherwise show up at the ECDC Senior Center for 9:00 AM. The ECDC Senior Center will serve as the "training" site for all groups. After the first raised bed is constructed, folks can return to each of their sites to construct their own.
Note: This information did change on 4/14/10. The original "training" site was going to be the ECDC, it is now going to be next door at the Senior Center.  

Note: The Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) is one of the schools that are part of the Oak St /Horace Mann Complex.

Note: This post was compiled based upon text provided by Lauren Marciszyn and Amy Cornwell i addition to my own notes from the meeting. Thanks for your input Lauren and Amy! And yes, I took the photo!


  1. Oh boy, this is wonderful news!

    Sorry, I haven't had my coffee yet. What is the ECDC? Thanks.

  2. Oh, I see. . . the Early Childhood Development Center. :) Thanks!

  3. Michelle, no problem. I made a minor change to make that more clear. Enjoy the coffee!

  4. YAY!! This is wonderful...its our own Food Revolution happening here in Franklin! I am going to join this team! Thanks for posting to FB, I hadn't heard of this, even though my daughter goes to ECDC, I attend the New England Chapel, and we are members at the Y!

  5. Yes, the food revolution is underway. I am happy to spread the good word. Tell your neighbors, tell your friends!

    And if you have something to share with Franklin, let me know and I share it here with you!