Community Feast’s main goal is to produce healthy food in order to help address the food security issue in our small community. The Master Gardener Volunteers played a significant role, along with Healthy Acadia, in creating a garden where we were able to produce and then donate over 2
000 pounds of vegetables to our local food pantry.
Marjorie Peronto works for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and has taught the Master Gardeners Volunteer course for 27 years. She was very hands on in the garden over the summer. Marjorie helped contribute in many ways such as: designing the drip irrigation system, and installing the deer fencing with Regina Grabrovac, who works for Healthy Acadia. She also designed the layout for the raised beds that Mr. Campbell’s two classes at Washington Academy built and assembled. These are all things the garden needed in order to succeed.
Marjorie was inspired to begin teaching MGV (Master Gardeners Volunteers) after joining the Peace Corps where she said she was “able to see how important it is to know how to grow your own food using environmentally sustainable methods, and to help people who are struggling to put healthy food on their table for their families.” In order to become a master gardener, people fill out an online application; strong gardening skills are not required because they will be taught throughout the course. Master gardeners are looking for people who are “eager to volunteer in their communities, to make a difference by working on projects that address food and security or ecological issues.” Along with the classes that are taught, volunteers also need 40 hours of hands on volunteering with a project that has been established for them.
This is how Marjorie got involved with the community/school garden. It’s a perfect opportunity to work with Washington Academy students and other community members in the garden, collaborating to reach a common goal. The garden has been a lot of hard work to get up and running, but it’s been a major success! I personally found it very inspiring to work in the garden, and was privileged to be able to harvest and donate its produce to our local food pantry, knowing I’m making a difference in my community. Thank you to everyone who’s made this harvesting season so great!