Community Gardens at Way Finders Properties
“It’s amazing that I grew so much delicious food on my first attempt. My daughter and I would come out to the garden daily to tend to our plants. It’s great for her to get this experience and see that the food we eat comes from somewhere other than the grocery store."
The spring and summer seasons of 2018 will be remembered as times of abundance by the families living at Butternut Farm in Amherst. As part of our ongoing Resident Engagement Initiative, which began in 2017, we learned that the most successful way to manage a property requires open communication and teamwork with our residents.
The newly formed Resident Advisory Committee at Butternut Farm decided they had a need for something at the property that could bring people together. Through brainstorming and working meetings with Way Finders’ staff, the committee decided to create a community garden for all to use. We constructed six garden beds next to the community room and once the beds were complete, invited residents to bring seeds and plant whatever they would like.
Soon, residents were enjoying fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and much more. Many of the families grew more than they could use, which sparked another great idea from the residents: with the addition of a communal harvest basket, they could share the extra food within their community. Not only did the project bring the community together with nutritious food, it also provided many of the residents their first experience of gardening. With the success of the community garden at Butternut Farm, we are exploring the possibility of creating them at our other properties. Nothing brings a community together more than teamwork, goodwill, and homegrown food.