Sycamore Community Garden Project

Sycamore Community Garden Project

Crowdfunding Completed: August 24, 2014

Amount Funded: $0

Project Owner: Ms. Cheryl Bourassa

Short Description of Project

Please help to ensure that more low income families can grow their own fresh, organic produce by helping the Sycamore Community Garden Project to expand.

How was this project connected to UU?

Concord’s U.U. Church has set out to become a visible leader in the field of refugee resettlement. Since its inception, we have collaborated with the Sycamore Community Garden Project: we offer at least $500 in financial support yearly; our church school students start seedlings; our youth often volunteer during registration, giveaway and clean up days. Many congregants have formed close relationships with some of the gardeners, offering transportation to the garden and lending a hand with some of the work.
Although our gardeners come from many faith traditions, the Seven Principles are alive in the gardens. Our organic practices respect the interdependent web of life; everyone is treated with dignity and respect. The democratic process is present as we work with gardeners to come to a consensus about how the garden should be managed.

Full Description of Project

Do you love to eat fresh, local organic produce? Do you believe everyone should be able to feed their family healthy food?
Are you are gardener who feels the most alive with your hands in the soil? Does your heart sing, knowing that you can grow food for your family?
Is it important to you that all members of our community have a chance feel that they can contribute to their own welfare?
Do you seek ways to bring people together across racial and ethnic lines?
If you answered yes, please consider making a donation to the Sycamore Community Garden Project!

We began in 2009 as Concord, New Hampshire’s refugee population began to grow. Our new neighbors almost all came from an agricultural tradition; in their native lands, women and elders could contribute to their family’s financial well being by growing food. Yet growing food in their new home was complicated; almost none of them have yards, or homes large enough to store tools and wheelbarrows. Not all have a car to get to a community garden.

The Sycamore Community Garden Project is designed so that all members of our community can have the chance to grow their own food. We are on the bus line; there are donated tools and wheelbarrows available for all to use. We have water on site and we collaborate with schools, faith groups, farms and civic organizations to have seedlings donated to our gardeners. For many of our seedling producers, it is a chance to meet our New American neighbors for the first time.

Plant giveaway Bishop Brady plants African man wheelbarrow

We started with 54 plots; today we have 138. Sycamore is a very social place, with people from many parts of the world working side by side. Children who live in apartment complexes without yards have a place to play. Ethnically important crops, such as mustard greens and African grinding corn, are grown. These vegetables cannot be found in our grocery stores.

Mustard harvest Garden-C 042812-2222 (2)

(This mustard will be dried, pickled and preserved.) (Children learn to help)

This year, only five plots were available to new gardeners, but we had 76 families enter our lottery. We are ready to grow!

Our lottery

(This spring's lottery)

We recently had a donor offer to fund a well so that we can have more gardens, even during a very dry season when our pond runs low on water. Before we can move forward, we need the resources to till up an additional 25 plots. Because we are located in a flood plain, our soil is full of silt and must be amended. At least 100 yards of compost will be added to the soil, along with organic fertilizer. New wheelbarrows are needed. Additional hours for our manager and cultural liaisons are needed.

woman wheelbarrow Hema and Jackie with Aaron's class

(Two of our liaisons talking to a class of 7th graders)

What will your contribution support?

$300 will pay for our tilling;
$106 is the cost of 100 new garden stakes;
$77 buys a heavy duty wheelbarrow;
$25 buys a yard of compost;
$20 supports an additional hour of time for our cultural liaisons;
$16 lets us purchase another 50 lbs of fertilizer.
If we go above our goal of $2,000, extra funds will be used to purchase more from the list above and to better maintain the other sections of the garden. Thank you for considering our project.