Monday, April 14, 2014


This past Saturday, I gave away donated seeds and tools to my neighbors.

After learning the stories behind the people the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Garden benefits, I feel grateful to help, even a little bit. I think you may too. 

Here's a few stories:

     A mother of four children requested a packet of kale seeds, because she's craving kale chips like the ones I made for her last summer. Kale, people. KALE.

     A Christian teenager who is planning to someday be a mother of a large family wants to learn to garden, so I gave her seed packets of lettuce, peas, beans and squash. She also asked for calendula flower seeds after helping me harvest some last year to make an infused oil for our family's stock of winter lotion. She plans on sprinkling the petals onto salads and other foods for the festive appearance and medicinal qualities. She also accepted a hand cultivar.

     An older gentleman with a cane came to talk about his concerns of his soil quality, which we were able to look up in the donated reference books on hand, and share our own experiences. We also talked about our preferences of varieties of our favorite vegetables. He admitted his inability to "do it all", meaning grow his own seedlings for all the tomatoes and peppers he needs this year, and thanked us for providing the opportunity for help. Our conversation was nearly 30 mins, and he left with a wonderful week-by-week garden planning book, and approximately 10 seed packets. About 10 minutes after he left, he returned to share his contact information so I could call him to help on the Maintenance Crew for the community garden. 

     A mother of 4 children under the age of four has asked for lettuce seeds to fill up her simple raised-bed garden. She believes this is the best and simplest vegetable for her family at this time that she can manage this year.

     Widows, elders, families with lots of young children, and also, able-bodied friends that took a few packets of seeds to help lift the monthly budget and save a 20 min trip to the store or shipping fees.... These are the folks that the NHNG are helping. Low-income, Moderate-income or High-income; being here is what is making the difference. 
We help more folks garden. 
We share the abundance available, when we work together. 
We inspire, educate and empower. 

Lets eat more vegetables, reduce our carbon and water footprints by sourcing our food as local as possible and enjoy serving folks in our community.
Join me, just a little, and we can make the difference in both small and large ways.  

A BIG Thank You! to:

Stauffer Dairy Farm of Nicholville ----------------- tools, books
Agway/ Elliots of Winthrop ------------------------- seeds
Cornell Cooperation Extension Office ------------ seeds, informative handouts
Agway of Potsdam ------------------------------------ seeds
Slaters of Nicholville ---------------------------------- seeds and volunteer time
Aviva Gold of -------------------- inspiration, encouragement
Georgia Macy ------------------------------------------ books, wisdom, encouragement

Friday, April 11, 2014

Ground Breaking

Hip-Hip-Hooray! for the ground breaking of the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Community Garden!
April 26th 
10 AM
at the Fort Jackson Park, near the old entrance, across from the basketball court

A  b i g thank you to Dustan McKee of McKee's Construction for volunteering his time and labor to run the tiller, and thank you to Jan and Henry Keller for the use of their tiller! Another thank you to the Stauffer's of Nicholville for the landscape plastic and shovel! 
We are really looking forward to all of the food going to local families, conversations about gardening and cooking, and sharing the love of our community. 

We still need someone to donate compost and fencing materials (see blog post titled "Needs")

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Our next step is to secure compost and fencing supplies, sourced as locally as possible.

A local rabbit farm sells compost for $50 for a one ton delivered load.
A local sawmill and hardware store could provide the boards need for a fence and gate around the garden for $100.
McKee's Construction has offered to donate the labor needed to install it.

If you would like to help us reach these goals, you can help pay for these materials directly.
-You can email the rabbit farm for compost at, and offer to pay for some or all of the 1 ton load.
-McKee's Construction has a simple Contact Us on a page of their website where you can arrange to help pay for the fencing.

Or, you are welcome to send a donation through our Fundly page:

Neighbors Helping Neighbors Garden

Our community garden needs a fence. The food grown will be donated to the local food bank, serving primarily elderly and children of the Hopkinton area.
Carlyn McKee
campaign owner



Thank you kindly,
Carlyn McKee