Permaculture Garden at West Parish Church - Andover, MA
Permaculture West Parish
129 Reservation Rd.
Andover, MA 01810
129 Reservation Rd.
Andover, MA 01810
by Cheryl McKeough
Master fiddler Alasdair Fraser, long regarded as Scotland's premier fiddle ambassador, and Natalie Haas, one of the most sought after cellists in Celtic music today, have represented Scotland at the Smithsonian's Folklife Festival and have been featured on nationally broadcast Performance Today, Thistle & Shamrock, and Mountain Stage. Their critically acclaimed debut recording Fire & Grace won the coveted Scots Traditional Music "Album of the Year," the Scottish equivalent of a Grammy. In recent years Alasdair and Natalie have helped reconstruct and revive the Scottish tradition of playing dance music on violin and cello ("wee fiddle" and "big fiddle"). Alasdair and Natalie will be playing at West Parish Church in Andover, MA on December 4 starting at 7:30pm. This is a benefit concert for Permaculture West Parish, which donates its produce to food pantries in the Merrimack Valley area. Tickets are on sale in the church office for twenty-five dollars, and will be sold at the door for $30 each if still available the the night of the concert. Below is a link to buying tickets for twenty-five dollars, plus a small fee online: http://permaculturewestparish.brownpapertickets.com/ This concert presents a rare opportunity to hear internationally famous musicians locally. Please come out and join us at this wonderful event! Live music has a way of feeding people’s spirit, in much the same way that working under an open sky with living plants does for those of us who garden. As our gardening year winds to a close we think ahead to sustainability for the garden’s future. Sustainability is a term that has many meanings. Financial sustainability is is an important component in a garden like this. It is the motivator for this concert, as well as another concert to follow in the spring. We will “bookend” our growing year with music! So please come out on the evening of December 4th and fill your ears and spirit with some terrific live music, and help us to again next year fill some of our neighbor’s bellies with good and healthy organic produce.
The fall season is upon us and we are reflecting on bountiful harvest our West Parish Permaculture Garden has produced this year. So many beautiful red tomatoes- plum and cherry, cucumbers, zucchini and yellow squash, colorful swiss chard, butternut squash, and amazing eggplant. The garden is still producing our fall plantings - acorn squash, purple kale, brussel sprouts, cabbage, green beans and very hot peppers - always good for chili and hot sauce. We have been diligent in our deliveries of produce to Bread and Roses, Lazarus House, Esperanza Academy and Cor Unum. They are so grateful for our donations.
We had a goal of growing 500 pounds of food this year and we are proud to say we have exceeded this goal and are now at over 600 pounds. This will continue to increase as we haven’t harvested all the produce in the garden. It is amazing to see how the weight of the produce adds up each time we harvest the vegetables especially the butternut squash which really adds to the poundage. Our committee really gets excited when hear the new total weight.
Check out our picture of the butternut squash we have harvested. Except for a few crows that pecked away at the squash - our crop this year was superb. There is nothing like butternut squash with melted butter and brown sugar or butternut squash soup which we sampled at our Permaculture Garden service at church this past Sunday. It was enjoyed by many along with other dishes prepared from our garden produce – pico de gallo, vegetable soup, etc. We look forward to harvesting the remainder of the produce in the coming weeks. It has been a very successful garden season.
By Linda Willis
Our Permaculture Garden is finally producing a bounty we are sharing with food pantries in the Merrimack Valley. We have experienced the worst drought in years, we’ve fought squash bugs and crows, but with persistence and vigilance from the team, we are finally seeing the fruits of our labor. I think one of the most exciting things about this phase of our project has been to see the smiles on the faces of the groups who have received our produce. Our goal is to donate everything we grow, but because this is our first season, we had no idea the emotional impact it would have on all of us as we hand boxes of produce to the members of our community who need it most. Our food pantries are extremely grateful for the produce, and we, in turn, are extraordinarily grateful to be part of their community