Blue Hill Community Garden

In 2019 the Blue Hill Garden Club partnered with Healthy Acadia’s Downeast Gleaning Initiative to plant public pick-your-own grow boxes in downtown Blue Hill, a community in Downeast Maine of about 3,000 residents. Our club took care of planting and watering while the gleaners harvested and distributed the produce to local food security organizations including the Magic Food Bus, Tree of Life Food Pantry and Simmering Pot. It proved to be popular and productive, so we expanded the project to include a 1,600 square foot in-ground garden. 

Our project shares the vision modeled by the Incredible Edible Network – to create kind, confident and connected communities through the power of food. Members of our club host programs in the garden to teach gardening skills to community members. Partnerships with our town’s four schools – including the high school upon whose property the garden is located – facilitate pathways for classroom integration. Our key partner, Healthy Acadia – a non-profit community health organization, provides ongoing technical support. 

We broke ground in November of 2019 by tilling the grass lawn that formerly occupied the garden plot. We then amended the soil with composted leaves and manure supplied by a nearby church and a local farm. Towards the end of winter, we worked with local teachers and students to start seeds, and once spring arrived we got busy planting! We also erected a fence to keep deer from harvesting the fruits and veggies of our labors, added a picnic table to encourage visitors to spend time in the garden, and built a shed to house tools and other supplies.

Organic and regenerative gardening practices ensure that the soil in our garden and the ecosystem that surrounds it are positively impacted by our efforts.

Our garden is increasing food independence in our community by providing free, nutritious produce to all people and by serving as both a catalyst and a site for activities that focus on gardening, food production, environmental science and nutrition. All in all, we produced close to 1,000 pounds of fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers in our first year, and we want to share even more in 2021!

We are tremendously grateful for the support we have received from private donors, the New England Grassroots Environment Fund, SeedMoney, and the Maine Farmland Trust – these donors have made it possible for us to create the garden!