Area contractors help build raised bed gardens for community

The “community” in Greenwich Community Gardens (GCG) took on new meaning this month as local businesses helped the organization construct 52 new raised bed gardens at the Armstrong Court Community Organic Garden.

Now in its fifth year of growing, the GCG has become a townwide source of local, organic and sustainable food through the gardens at its Armstrong Court location, and will soon expand to a second location in Cos Cob.

According to Patty Sechi, chair of the GCG board of directors, in order to maintain the gardens’ success, it’s important that the entire community support them, which is why organizers began planning for the installation of this year’s raised beds beginning in January. Patricia Baiardi of Baiardi Architects, one of the organization’s community gardeners, spearheaded and managed the entire project, calling on a number of contractors for assistance, she said.

The project is one that others can easily visualize and assist with, whether it’s donating time or supplies to the cause, Ms. Sechi said. And although the construction plan for raised beds is simple, the amount of work it takes to complete them requires plenty of manpower, she said. The process involves leveling the ground, placing, arranging and filling the beds, and a number of other steps, which is why community support is vital to the project, she said.

Fortunately, she added, Whole Foods of Greenwich and New Milford Farms of New Milford have provided the majority of the soil for the project and Ring’s End of Darien has provided lumber at a greatly reduced price. Additionally, a number of Greenwich contractors offered their assistance in building the beds, as well as new garden gates, including Delucca Contracting LLC, Duffy Craftsmen Inc., Xhema Remodeling, Maurice Clarke Builders, and A.P. Savino LLC. Nearby contractors in the New York and Fairfield County area also offered to pitch in, including Granados General Contracting & Landscaping, New Field Builders, Joe Golden Carpentry, Gimbrere Associates, R.E. Davis Construction LLC, and Murphy Brothers Contracting.

The GCG chose to install raised bed-style gardens for a number of reasons, Ms. Sechi said. Most importantly, they reduce soil compaction greatly, she said. Raised beds also take up little room and do not spread into other plots, allow gardeners to plant crops closer together, are easy to maintain, have a uniform, pleasing aesthetic, and have extended growing seasons because they warm up faster in the spring and cool down more slowly in the fall. Additionally, Ms. Sechi said, studies have shown that raised bed gardens produce one and one-half to two times more vegetables than a standard garden. Ultimately, she said, the result is a large group of small yet highly productive gardens.

All that’s left to do now is prepare the gardens for the growing season, Ms. Sechi said, which is why the GCG is once again holding its Spring Community Service Weekend at Armstrong Court this weekend on April 20 and 21. The entire community is invited to help fill soil and get the gardens ready for new growth, she said. Volunteers simply need to bring a pair of gardening gloves and GCG members will match everyone to an activity, from pulling weeds to building a shed from a kit.

“Community means a lot more than even I realized,” Ms. Sechi said. The project, which maxed out the gardening space at the Armstrong Court location, couldn’t have been done without the larger community pitching in, she said. And now, she added, all involved have helped create a healthier community.

For questions about Spring Community Service Weekend, contact Patty Sechi at [email protected] or call 203-629-1499. The event takes place April 20 from 9 to 1 and April 21 from 1 to 5. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

 

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