The Community Equitability Group is at it again this spring with the Resiliency Gardens Project! In 2020, concerned about the pandemic-related increase in food insecurity, the Community Equitability Group (CEG) was formed to address food insecurity and economic and racial injustice. The project creates food resilience by growing gardens with organic produce, culinary and medicinal herbs, and pollinator-friendly plants. Green Needham supported the CEG in 2020.
In 2020, the CEG placed 40 Resiliency Gardens with 35 Needham families. Approximately half of the families live in Needham Housing or Dedham Housing in Needham. About 2/3 of the growers experienced food insecurity and about half had family members or friends with COVID, had COVID themselves, or had friends or family pass away from COVID. Many growers are from new American families.
Using a donation from Green Needham, the Resiliency Gardens Project will offer organic seeds from High Mowing Organic Seeds in Wolcott, Vermont. Included in the 2021 Resiliency Gardens package: garden beds, healthy soil, tools, gloves, a sprouting and micro greens project, and watering cans. Grow bags were provided to those who did not have room for a garden bed. The project also features Zoom classes for sharing gardening tips and topics in food and farming like regenerative agriculture, soil amendments, DIY tomato cages, and herbal medicine.
“When we started we knew raised-bed vegetable gardens would be our primary focus,” said the project’s founder Ellen Fine. “We grew beyond our original intent by creating a strong network of mutual aid, pollinator classes for kids, and support for pollinator legislation to ban the direct sale of neonicotinoids to consumers in Massachusetts. We also branched out to twice a month food distributions with donations from Trader Joe’s and local farmers — so helpful in this time of need.” The project’s 2021 goal is to grow to 100 Resiliency Gardens. New this year: homeowners, Houses of Worship, community groups and business will grow food for the food distribution program — contact Ellen Fine for details.
The Resiliency Garden program is open to ANYONE regardless of ability to pay. In the spirit of community equity, the group offers a “Share the Gift of Garden Resiliency” — a donation of $70 buys a garden for a family facing food insecurity, $120 buys a garden for your family, plus a family facing food insecurity. Please see the flyer for details. The Community Equitability Group appreciates all kinds of support: monetary donations, materials and technical support, and in-person masked volunteers for soil distribution and building garden beds.
Please contact Ellen Fine for information about donations. (781) 824-0154, firstname.lastname@example.org