Category Archives: Fresh Produce

Beth El Temple Center garden

This was “Mitzvah Day” at Beth El Temple Center, where the congregation members did a mitzvah (good deed) in the community. One of the many projects was planting the Community Growing beds on the Temple Grounds.

Do you want to help? Volunteer to help weed and water in some of our gardens, where we grow produce for the Belmont Food Pantry.

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Rock Meadow 2016

Our Community Growing project is in full swing. Here are some scenes from the Rock Meadow garden.

We grow produce to donate to the Belmont Food Pantry. If you’d like to help out by weeding and watering for a few days, let us know.

Spring 2016

It’s spring and we’re starting to work on our  Community Growing gardens. The Belmont Food Collaborative grows produce for the Belmont Food Pantry, and some of our volunteers took advantage of the nice weather this week to plant and weed.

This project is in its sixth year. Get more information and volunteer to make another successful season.

Garlic and potatoes

Our Rock Meadow garden: Garlic is starting to grow (left) and we planted potatoes (right)

BHS Garden update: new fence, new plants, new people involved

Here’s a press release from the Belmont High School Belmont High School Garden and Food Justice Club.

Belmont High School — Now at the close of its second summer, the Belmont High School Garden and Food Justice Club held a ribbon cutting ceremony this past Monday, August 17th, to celebrate the garden’s success and recent improvements. In attendance were members of the community that made this project possible, including students, BHS Principal Dan Richards, and community supporters.

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At the ribbon cutting: from left to right: Maddie Carlini (student club member), Patricia Mihelich (Belmont Food Pantry), Suzanne Johannet (Belmont Food Collaborative), Ann Pan (new club leader), Olivia Cronin (former club leader), Principal Dan Richards, Laurie Graham, Carol Oulette (BHS office staff)

The student-led club founded the High School’s first vegetable garden in the spring of 2014.  With support from The Belmont Food Collaborative, the garden is a continuation of the organization’s “Community Growing” project, with the goal of providing organically-raised produce for the local Belmont Food Pantry. Community members care for several other gardens around town. The BHS Garden is cared for by students during the school year and summer and during the non-growing season the club hosts a Winter Food Drive, as well as other projects and trips.

During its first summer, the garden’s four beds hosted tomatoes, eggplant, bush beans, broccoli and beets, with seedling donations from Belmont Acres Farms. Now in its second season, the garden received a grant from The Whole Kids Foundation to finance cedar post fencing and blueberry bushes.

Some of the produce from the BHS garden

Some of the produce from the BHS garden

Many individuals have made this possible: Thanks to Principal Dan Richards and Fred Domenici, Head of Grounds, at BHS; Mike Chase of Belmont Acres Farm for seedling donations; Joan Teebagy of the Belmont Food Collaborative for writing The Whole Kids Grant; Suzanne Johannet of the Belmont Food Collaborative for her guidance and practical support; and Michael LaPierre of ML Fencing for donating the fence-installation labor.

New fence and blueberry plants at the BHS garden

New fence and blueberry plants at the BHS garden

The student founders of the club, Olivia Cronin and Maggie O’Brien, are recent graduates, and leave the garden in the able hands of four new leaders, Ammu Dinesh, Brett Koslowsky, Alena Jaeger, and Ann Pan. The club hopes to continue expanding, increasing the BHS Community’s involvement in the garden and promoting conversation about sustainable growing and food insecurity in Belmont and beyond.

Rock Meadow garden update: planting time

We’ve added a third garden to our Community Growing program (growing produce for the Belmont Food Pantry). It’s at Rock Meadow, at the Belmont Victory Gardens.

You can help maintain the garden this summer. Info about watering and weeding. We also need help with the beds at Beth El Temple Center in Belmont.

Rock Meadow eggplant seedling   Rock Meadow tomato seedling

BHS Garden Growing in Labor Day Heat

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Despite the heat of this past Labor Day weekend, the BHS Garden is growing well. The tomatoes are slowing down a bit, but are still plentiful, and new eggplants seem to be coming in every day. With school starting at the High School this Wednesday the garden is still in the height of late summer.

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Earlier this month the broccoli plants were picked clean of their thick green leaves by the geese who live around Clay Pit Pond. After a week or so of a skeleton-filled bed we decided to replant it, but kept one of the healthier plants out of curiosity. Now, it is growing strongly, even more so than before. Although it would’ve been nice to have a full bed of these broccoli, it was a large risk to take since it took several weeks to grow back, and either way, the beans and lettuce we planted are now coming in.

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Besides geese, it’s now safe to assume that rats have also been frequenting the garden. We found one dead in the beet bed today, although we haven’t noticed any other signs of them.

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The BHS Garden had a lot to provide for The Belmont Food Pantry last Tuesday, including tomatoes, eggplant and beets. The peppers, zucchini and some of the tomatoes were donated by Belmont Acres Farm.

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Community Growing: Garden Predators and Successful Harvests

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The BHS Garden, part of the Community Growing Project, faced its first predators earlier this month when the geese that live around nearby Claypit Pond quickly cleared out the broccoli bed. Fortunately, the majority of the plants, about fifteen heads, had already been harvested. With nearly all the leaves removed from the plants and little chance for regrowth, we decided to replant the bed. Belmont High Seniors Charlie Smith and Maggie O’Brien helped rip out the broccoli skeletons to make way for bush beans and red lettuce.   

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To prevent future predators, a fence was put around the tomato, lettuce/bean, and beet/bean beds. The eggplant in the fourth bed has been largely ignored by the geese and other animals, likely due to it’s prickly stems and leaves.

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Despite issues with predators, we were able to harvest a large amount of tomatoes and beans from both the High School and Beth El Gardens. This produce was delivered to the Belmont Food Pantry, along with lettuce, corn and squash from the Boston Area Gleaners

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First Harvests with Community Growing

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The Community Growing Project at Belmont High School and Beth El Temple has made its first harvests for the Belmont Food Pantry. So far broccoli, beans and beets have been delivered and tomatoes and eggplant are on their way. Pictured here are some of the high school students who have been working in the garden.

1st Harvest

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The produce was joined at the Food Pantry by summer squash, cucumbers and greens from the Boston Area Gleaners. This organization collects surplus crops from local farms and regularly provides fresh vegetables for the Belmont Food Pantry, as well as many others.

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BHS Garden Update: Stakes, First Tomatoes and Surviving Arthur

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As part of the BFC’s Food Assistance program, in 2014 the Community Growing project was expanded to partner with BHS’ Garden and Food Justice Club. The new BHS Garden has been built and cared for nearly exclusively by high school students. In 2012 Community Growing started with growing vegetables in local backyards. In 2013, we partnered with the Beth El Temple Center, and now have 6 beds providing produce for the Belmont Food Pantry at that location.

20140705_132945Despite the gusts and furies of tropical storm Arthur this past week, the garden is growing strongly! The tomatoes have been staked, thanks to a donation from Belmont Acres Farm, who also provided the broccoli, tomato and eggplant seedlings. In addition, we are growing beets and beans.

Looking to find out more about Community Growing or what’s going on at the High School? Contact the club at bhsgardenfood@gmail.com.

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