Tag Archives: Westport Community Gardens

Hey, Gardeners! Grow Your Own — And Share

The Westport Community Gardens is a wonderful place. Dozens of gardeners — from  families with little children to folks in their 80s — grow fruit, vegetables, flowers, herbs and grasses, in all kinds of designs and configurations.

They joyfully share their bounty with others. The Grow-A-Row fresh food  initiative encourages gardeners to grow an extra row — or more — to donate.

Last year the program donated nearly 100 grocery bags loaded with fresh, organically grown produce to the The Center for Food Equity and Economic Development (FEED) in Bridgeport. Their culinary training program team prepares the donated food, distributes meals to soup kitchens throughout Bridgeport, and runs a food truck to reach neighborhoods that lack access to fresh food.

Some of the food donations grown and collected at the Westport Community Garden through the Grow-A-Row initiative last  summer.

This year, Grow-A-Row — with partners Sustainable Westport and the Zero Food Waste Initiative — invites all Westport home gardeners, everywhere in town, to participate.

They’ll even get you started, with seeds.

The Grow-A-Row Project received a generous donation of vegetable seeds from the University of Connecticut Extension Master Gardeners Program. They include radishes, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, okra and squashes. Seeds are available for pickup at Branson Hall, at Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.

Seeds are limited to first come, first served. But all home gardeners in Westport are welcome to donate whatever they grow.

Once harvested, all fresh produce and herb donations can be dropped off at Branson Hall.

Questions? Email amyunikewicz@gmail.com.

Back To The Garden

Joni Mitchell was right. After a winter of snow — and a year of COVID — we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.

And there’s no better place than the Westport Community Gardens.

There — just a few hoe-lengths away from Long Lots Elementary School — 100 or so gardeners grow fruit, vegetables, flowers, herbs and grasses, in a wonderful array of designs and configurations.

Some are families with young children. Some are folks in their 80s. Some are experienced gardeners; others know little, but learn from them. All form a helpful, happy — and very well-fed — community.

Gardens plots are available to town residents and town employees. After the internal allocation ends March 1, any remaining plots are allocated to the wait list.

The gardens are deer-proof. Water is available.

Grow the tomatoes you’ve dreamed of — or any other fruits, vegetables and flowers you’ve wanted to try.

Families find a home at the Community Gardens. Supervised children are  welcome — and encouraged.

There’s even a bocce court.

Click here to join the wait list. After all: You are stardust. You are golden. You’ve got to get yourself back to the garden.

(Photos/Lou Weinberg)

Photo Challenge #318

Last week’s Photo Challenge was like the Bernie meme: It showed up everywhere.

People thought the photo of a lonely looking fence — 2 sections surrounded by empty space, protecting nothing — was all over town.

The Wakeman athletic fields, North Compo Little League diamonds, Longshore lower parking lot, back of Town Hall, Imperial Avenue lot — so many places that poor fence could be.

The photographer’s name — Lou Weinberg — should have given it away, though. He’s the chair of Westport’s Community Gardens.

That’s the big, beautiful space just south of Long Lots Elementary School. Coincidentally, it’s the former site of the Jaeger family greenhouses — but Jalna Jaeger says the fence was not there when they owned the property.

It’s where families with little children, folks in their 80s and everyone in between grows fruit, vegetables, flowers, herbs and grasses, in all kinds of designs and configurations.

And where, presumably, they all marvel at the wonders and mysteries of life — including this gate to nowhere. (Click here to see.)

Correct answers came from Diane Bosch, Elaine Marino, Joyce Barnhart, Bronwyn Cousins and Phil Rubin. Like everyone else — green and kiss-of-death thumbs alike — they anxiously await the arrival of spring.

In the meantime, if you know where in Westport you’d see this week’s Photo Challenge, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Rich Stein)

Visitors Interrupt Compo Wedding Ceremony

One of the joys of Westport is a wedding on the beach.

Many of us have been thrilled, at random moments, to see a couple sharing vows on the shore. We have no idea who they are, but it makes our day.

One of the joys of Lou Weinberg’s wedding on the beach yesterday was an unexpected visitor.

The wedding party, on a Compo Beach jetty.

Lou was married there yesterday. As assistant town attorney (and justice of the peace) Eileen Lavigne Flug performed the ceremony, she noticed the sand moving.

Eileen Lavigne Flug, flanked by the newlyweds.

Turtles were hatching.

Suddenly, 7 little ones — diamondback terrapins, Lou thinks — emerged.

5 of the 7 baby turtles.

“It was perfect,” Lou says, “I’m a nature boy.” (In his spare time, Lou volunteers as chair of the Westport Community Gardens.)

Lou then went one step further. Right after the wedding, he called Dan DeVito at the Parks & Recreation Department. Quickly, Dan called down to the beach. Within moments, an employee strung caution tape around the area.

Lou thought this would make a nice story. He also hopes it warns people that turtles are hatching at Compo.

“This is incredibly rare, valuable and important,” Lou says. “People need to be aware, and stay away.”

A tiny diamondback terrapin.

Lou calls last night’s hatching “a fortuitous start to our married life together.”

It is a great story. I’m honored to pass it along.

But in the interest of journalism, I emailed Lou back. I wanted to include his new wife’s name too.

I haven’t heard back yet.

Hopefully, he’s on his honeymoon.

Or else he’s saving even more wildlife somewhere out there too.

UPDATE: The bride’s name is Marjorie Donalds!

Congratulations, to Lou and Marjorie!

Pic Of The Day #726

(Photo/Neil Cohn)

Alert “06880” reader Neil Cohn writes:

After your recent post about the Westport Community Gardens, I signed right up.

The area assigned to me had some nice raised beds and soil. I spent last weekend cleaning the weeds and prepping the beds. Unfortunately the previous owner had a change of heart and removed everything, leaving a swamp when I showed back up.

Lou Weinberg, who runs the garden, offered to help me build new beds. I picked up lumber at Torno, and this morning we got to work.

A senior couple, Paddy and Pat Duecy, came by. They offered amazing gardening advice, and chatted with my 9-year old-daughter. Reese is a 3rd grader at Coleytown Elementary School.

My kids have planned out our crops. Now we’re off to Gilbertie’s for some more soil and plants. What a treasure the garden is — and what a sense of community it brings!