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Goffstown Community Garden is open for business

By KATHY REMILLARD Union Leader Correspondent

GOFFSTOWN — As gardening season approaches, a handful of plots are still available at the Goffstown Community Garden, located next to the police station on Route 114.

The garden is managed by Southern New Hampshire Services, and Valerie Carignan, the program coordinator, said about five of the original 50 plots remain.

“But there is always someone who decides not to garden, and more become available,” Carignan said.

The plots are 30 feet by 30 feet in size, and are free to low-income participants, Carignan said. Those with an income that falls above the guidelines are asked to make a donation.

Gardeners began planting over Memorial Day weekend and expressed appreciation for a program that allows them access to healthy fruits and vegetables, and gets them involved in the process as well.

“I have a garden here every year,” said Hava Causevic of Manchester, who began using the program four years ago.

Causevic is growing peppers, potatoes, beans and pumpkins. She is permanently disabled and said that being in the garden helps her to relax.

Causevic said she shares some of the bounty from her garden with other people she knows who are in need.

“It really makes people happy,” she said.

Donna Hodgdon of Goffstown used to participate in the program with her own children, who would help her in the gardens.

“It was a lot of fun for them,” she said, “and having the extra food was always nice.”

Hodgdon's children are now grown, but she's come back to the garden because of the tight economy.

“The economy is tougher than it used to be,” she said.

Hodgdon said she is looking forward to having her grandchildren work with her in the garden.

The land for the plots has already been rototilled, and this year water spigots are available in the gardening space eliminating the need for gardeners to haul in water.

“It gets better every year,” said Causevic.

Carignan said the benefits of the community garden are twofold.

“Having a garden helps participants to become more self-sufficient,” she said, and it helps them to eat healthier by growing fresh veggies and fruits.”

For more information on how to apply for a garden plot, call 668-8010, ext. 6042, or log on to snhs.org and download the application.

Reprinted with permission The Union Leader May 28, 2012

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