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5-15-11 - Butterflies and Their Gardens
Where: Killingworth Library, 301 Route 81, Killingworth, CT 06419 (Conference Room)
Date: May 15, 2011
Time: 1:30pm - 3:30pm

John Himmelman, noted naturalist, author, and co-founder of the CT Butterfly Association will present a 1-hr lecture entitled, "Butterflies and Their Gardens," as the guest speaker at the Killingworth Community Gardens April Event. Gardeners, please join us from 1:30 to 3:30PM for this most interesting and informative program. Older children with an interest in butterfly gardening may also enjoy this lecture. Tammy Eustis and Robin Matterfis will be present to share their personal experiences in the raising of praying mantis' for garden insect control, and in the tagging of migratory butterflies. Related items are available for sale. Refreshments will be served! Admission is FREE.
2-21-11 - Waiting For Spring
Well, if you believe snow is good for your garden, you are in luck this year. Pictured is the the front garden after a February storm. There will be a lot of clean up to do this year, but with more experienced gardeners and a few years of growing under our belts, we are hoping for a great season. The top concern of organizer Peg Scofield is enlisting some leaders for major projects. "I am looking for individuals or groups to step forward to direct and manage projects nad programs at the gardens." In it's fourth year, the gardeners will be expected to contribute more to the garden community than in the past. Scofield said, "In the first couple of years, I allowed the service requirement to slide." "It's essential to our continued success that we register plots to gardeners who will take advantage of the full growing season and contribute to the success of the project as a whole."
6-21-10 - Gardens Benefit from Eagle Scout Projects
Ryan Griffin, Kevin and Ed Gorman

Troop 18 Eagle Scout candidates Kevin Gorman and Chad Golembeski both completed their Eagle Scout projects at Parmelee Farm this month. Golembeski completed an informational kiosk for National Trails Day in June 5th and today, Kevin Gorman completed a bridge for the wetlands crossing between the two community garden fields. Gorman, 17, is the son of Joanne and Ed Gorman of Killingworth. He received funding for his project from the Killingworth Lions Club, United Illuminating and a mini-grant from Youth and Family Services of Haddam-Killingworth. He also thanks Tuxis Lumber for giving him discounts on materials. The 40x10 foot bridge will allow foot and tractor access to the back garden field. Gorman, who will be a senior at HK High School this fall, spent the last two years planning the project and getting the necessary okays from town committees.

Greg and Chad Golembeski
Gorman has been involved in scouting since the 6th grade, is a Junior Fire Fighter with the Killingworth Volunteer Fire Company and is working this summer at the local True Value store. Community Gardens coordinator and Parmelee Farm Steering Committee member Peg Scofield said she was thrilled with the two projects. "The property has undergone so many positive changes in the last few months. The Eagle Scout projects are beautiful and useful additions that will make access to the property much easier for residents and visitors." She also thanked the families of the two scouts who helped with the planning and building of the projects. "You could really see the spirit of scouting at work."
6-14-10 - Lions Club Tomato Plant Sale
Charlie Smith and Les Riblet prepare the plants
The Lions Club recently held a tomato and assorted vegetable plant sale to benefit the Community Gardens and Parmelee Farm. Charlie Smith and his 'seedling crew' of Rebecca Williams, Lou Goldblatt, Robert Tischbein, and John Kempter raised the plants and then sold them at the Garden Club plant sale at Recycle Way and at Parmelee Farm on Trials Day. The Community Gardeners are grateful to the Lions for their continued support of the gardens.

Also on display at the plant sale was a wonderful painting of the gardens and red barn by resident artist Sandy Smith. The painting will be raffled off at the Killingworth Congregational Church Fair in August. Sandy, a member of the Madison Art Society, gets together to paint outdoors at various locations in the area. The group spent a few hours painting at the property two years ago and were welcomed back again last week.

6-3-09 - Learn More, Grow More Food Talks
A free 3 part series of talks to be held at the Scranton Library Madison. Co-sponsored by the Bauer Park Community Garden and Killingworth Community Gardens
June 25th, July 7th , July 30th - 6:30PM to 8:00PM
The talks are free but registration is required-
Please contact: Barbara Sabiston at sabistonbe@madisonct.org or Madison Beach and Recreation: (203) 245-5623
Given by: Diane Wright Hirsch, MPH, RD of the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System

June 25th 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Garden to Table: Food Safety Practices of Home Gardeners

Join us and learn about safe food handling practices during growing, harvesting and storage and preparation of fresh produce.

July 7th 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Preserving the Harvest-Freezing

To get answers to your general questions about home food preservation and learn how to freeze fresh fruits and vegetables, join us for this two-part presentation:
  • Choosing the best way to preserve fruits and vegetables at home
  • Freezing fruits and vegetables
July 30th 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Canning Your Harvest

This week, Diane will share with us:
  • An overview and demonstration of various home canning techniques, including water bath, and pressure canners.
  • Safe methods for canning vegetables
  • Recommended methods for making jams
  • How to use a pressure canner without fear of explosion
Special Note: If you have a pressure canner it should be tested every couple years to ensure it is working properly. Bring your pressure canner with you and Diane will test the pressure cooker gauge on your canner to ensure it is working properly… and most importantly, safely!
Diane Wright Hirsch, MPH, RD of the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System is a food safety educator who has been teaching farmers, processors, retailers, foodservice workers and consumers about food safety and safe food handling for more than 15 years.
6-7-09 - Our First Meet and Greet of the Season
Gardeners and their families gathered on Sunday, June 7th for our first pot luck gathering of the season. A group of about 40 adults and children enjoyed sharing food, stories with the addition of music this year. It turns out that we have several excellent singer/guitarists among our group and we all enjoyed listening and singing along. We hope to plan one gathering a month so everyone in our gardening family can join us. For more photos, visit our facebook page
3-30-09 - Community Angels Help Gardens Grow
It must be lucky soil. The Killingworth Community Gardens would not have been able to harvest a single vegetable last year had it not been for the contributions of community volunteers. Time, labor, equipment were generously offered to help create
a wonderful place to produce food, help the community and make friends. This year, with interest greatly outpacing available space, Mike and Karen Milano of MJM Builders and Self Storage stepped forward to make expansion of the gardens possible. The Milanos and Dale Heser, of D.D. Heser Construction Corp, Clinton donated a valuable day's use of their heavy equipment to excavate a large new field. With an expert touch, MJM's Billy Tomasino raked out the old roots from the 1.8 acre field to prepare it for plowing. In the next few weeks, resident Walt Adametz, our Town's Highway Foreman, but also a longtime farmer, has offered to plow the field to make it ready for planting. Gardens' coordinator Peg Scofield said, "The character of our community has truly been revealed by this project. Even in tough economic times, neighbors are ready and willing to give their time, money and energy to help this project grow. Their generosity has been overwhelming."

Registration for gardening space at the Killingworth Community Gardens opened on Saturday, April 4th. Applications are available for download on the website www.kwgardens.org. The fee for each 20x20 ft. plot is $30.00; 40x40 plots ($60) All levels of gardening expertise are welcome. Registration will be accepted in person or by mail in the Town Clerk's Office during regular office hours: M-F 8 a.m. -12 and 1-4 p.m.
8- 14-2008          Community Gardeners Extend Hand to Needy
Our first delivery to Clinton Food Pantry. Photo courtesy J. Wilcox
The first year of the Killingworth Community Gardens can easily be called a success despite the bunnies, woodchucks, bugs and multiple thunderstorms. But as the gardeners finally enjoy the bounty of vegetables produced from their hard work, they are also looking to fulfill one of the goals of the gardens; to provide fresh produce to the local food pantries. Yesterday, gardener Jackie Wilcox was able to delivery a box full of colorful herbs and vegetables to the Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Food Pantries at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Advent Church in Clinton. In addition to growing for their own families, gardeners are swapping vegetables with fellow gardeners and each week a volunteer will make a delivery of surplus produce to the food pantry. The 24 plots located at the Parmelee Farm are thriving thanks to good soil, full sun, the solar water pump and a community of green thumbs. Gardens Coordinator Peg Scofield said she is extremely proud of the gardens' progress. "I knew the first year would present its share of challenges, but the gardeners and community volunteers have responded by rolling up their sleeves and sharing the load to make the project an unqualified success."
5- 13-2008          Rep. O'Connor Secures State Grant for Killingworth Community Gardens
Killingworth First Selectman Richard Cabral accepts the $10,000 check from State Representative Brian O'Connor.
State Representative Brian O’Connor announced that he has secured a $10,000 state grant for the Killingworth Community Gardens project, which now has 24 active garden plots being cultivated by Killingworth residents. The funding will be used to purchase various items such as a solar powered water pump, invisible deer fencing, wood chips for paths, and picnic tables.

“The resources provided by this state grant will continue to add to this great project and I am excited to begin to see it all put to use,” Rep. O’Connor said. “The Killingworth Community Gardens project is truly visionary and fits in perfectly with the town’s heritage.” O’Connor continued, “The garden symbolizes the rebirth of the property and will serve as the cornerstone to its future revitalization. Peg Scofield, First Selectman Cabral, Hilary Kumnick and the Land Use Committee should be applauded for seeing the project thru.”

The town-owned property is 133 acres of passive recreation land purchased by the town in 2000. The gardens are located on a homestead that most recently was used as a turkey farm and abuts the Cockaponset State Forest.

Residents will be able to use the garden for a variety of activities such as food production, environmental education and various gatherings.

Peg Scofield said, “I am thrilled that Rep. O'Connor was able to secure the significant startup funding. His support of this project and his involvement with other projects and events in town is greatly appreciated.”

Killingworth First Selectman Richard Cabral said, “When a private citizen, Peg Scofield, comes forth to create and implement a project that is worthwhile for the citizens of Killingworth and is able to work successfully with the town’s Land Use Committee, it brings to the foreground the fact that when we all work together, everyone wins.”

Hilary Kumnick, Chairman of the Land Use Committee, commented, “The gardens are a wonderful addition to the fabric of Killingworth thanks to Peg Scofield’s vision and extensive planning. Our committee has been charged by the Board of Selectmen to see that the areas and structures surrounding the plots are safe and secure. The Board of Selectmen, Park and Recreation and Land Use Committee anticipate future uses of the old farm site could include hiking, horse and dog trails, youth farm activities, and other passive recreation uses. The volunteer-driven gardens are an ideal ‘breath of fresh air’ for this attractive town property and our committee is unanimous in our support.”
4-8-2008           Community Gardens Receive Youth & Family Mini-Grant
Youth & Family Services of Haddam-Killingworth awarded its second round of mini-grants recently to community members who proposed projects aimed at building developmental assets in our communities' youth. These assets, according to YFS are "positive experiences, opportunities and personal qualities that all youth need to be responsible, successful, and caring". The seven mini-grants were made possible by a Community Impact Grant from the Middlesex United Way.

Youth and Family Services awarded these $200-$250 grants to help young people build internal assets like responsibility and decision making skills, feeling valued by the community and reading for pleasure as well as external assets like developing adult relationships, a caring school climate and giving them useful roles in the community. The grants were awarded to the Killingworth Youth League to be used for safety training for coaches and coaching manuals; The Killingworth Community Gardens to encourage the local youth to be a part of the project; The Killingworth Library Association to host career information nights themed to attract young people; The HK Media Center to provide books for a summer reading project; The Killingworth Women's Organization for its recent Parent-Child dance at KES; GLASS of HK to provide guest speakers and for leaders to attend a conference; and to Catherine McQuire to support her drug and alcohol prevention programs in the schools.

The research shows that the more assets young people have, the less likely they are to engage in high-risk behaviors. Forty developmental assets were defined and the more assigned, the healthier the kids. One example shows this clearly: students in grades 7-12 who answered that they had gotten drunk once or more in the last two weeks decreased from 36%, with 0-10 assets assigned, to 0%, with 31-40 assets. Assets promote academic success, divert youth from risky behaviors and increase civic engagement. They also give young people the strengths they need to make positive choices in life.
3-31-2008           Community Gardens "Open for Growing"
The Killingworth Community Gardens project, first proposed early last summer, will start accepting plot registrations on April 1. The Gardens are located on the Bosco property on Route 81. Thanks to the overwhelming support of volunteers, Town committees and Town and State officials the small estate on the 133-acre property is coming back to life.

The 24-20ft x 20ft garden plots are marked and ready to welcome residents who are looking for a place to come together for the purpose of food production, environmental education and multi-generational gatherings. Individuals and groups at all levels of gardening expertise are welcome. The registration fee for each plot is $20. Registrations will be accepted in the Town Clerk's office or you may download the forms from the project's website and send them in by mail. Plots will be assigned on a first come basis.

Peter Venuti clears the field last fall.
Expert gardening advice as well as help with heavy or labor-intensive gardening chores will be available. Gardeners are encouraged to donate surplus food to the local food pantries and soup kitchens.

The Gardens received significant startup funding from the State Office of Policy and Management thanks to the support of Rep. Brian O'Connor. The funding will allow for the purchase of a solar powered water pump, deer fencing and soil improvements. The Gardens were also awarded a Youth and Family Service of Haddam-Killingworth mini-grant that will be used to purchase garden tools and plants. The project would not be possible without the advice and efforts of volunteers. Many residents have pledged to help with super-volunteers Peter Venuti, Eric Auer and Bill Silas generously leading the way.

Project organizer, Peg Scofield, a self-professed novice gardener, said the "seeds" of the project were planted back in 2004 when the planned Bosco Recreation Complex included space for a community garden. "I thought a community garden would be a wonderful use of land that was once a thriving farm and homestead." Though the recreation plan failed, Scofield kept the garden idea in mind. "People started referring to this property for what it couldn't be, instead of what it could. I thought if we started small and simple and residents saw the property for its peaceful and historic beauty, it might spark a change in attitude." Former First Selectman Marty Klein okayed the idea and offered his advice on the planning and the Town crew's time to clean up the field and around the house and out-buildings. Scofield said, "Rep. O'Connor, the Town Hall staff, Land Use and other committees have been so helpful in moving the project along. I am thrilled with the support and interest the project has received so far and thankful for all the great advice and especially the efforts of Rep. O'Connor, Peter, Eric, Bill and the Land Use Committee members. There is still a lot to do, but we are well on the way."

LUC Chairman Hilary Kumnick said, "The Community Gardens are a wonderful addition to the fabric of Killingworth thanks to Peg Scofield's vision and extensive planning. LUC has been charged by the Board of Selectmen to see that the areas/structures surrounding the plots are safe and secure. BOS, P&R & LUC anticipate future uses of the old farm site could include hiking, horse and dog trails, youth farm activities, and other passive recreation uses. The volunteer-driven, kwgardens are an ideal "breath of fresh air" for this attractive town property and LUC is unanimous in our support!"