Victory Garden Blossoms in Eastport

Volunteers sheet mulching in the Labor of Love garden. (Submitted photo).

The south-facing slope that faces Route 190 at the Labor of Love Food Pantry and Nutrition Center in Eastport is an ideal site for a community garden. Early last May, a dedicated team of 10 local volunteers all from Eastport including parents and their children set out to create ecologically sound gardens that could produce nutritious crops, offer a space for hands-on garden education, and create a visible edible landscape for all to enjoy. George Hoche offered his soil science brilliance on a regular basis.  Garden designers say they are attempting to celebrate and encourage the nutritional integrity of those living in Eastport and the surrounding area while connecting to a resilient and diverse food system.  

Throughout the summer months, local volunteers and an ASSIST-JC crew from Bangor built two raised garden beds, a three-bin composting system, and sheet-mulched a 1,500 square foot area. The sheet-mulched materials consisted of donated organic cow manure and old hay from Herb McPhail of Perry, seaweed gathered from Eastport’s shores, a generous supply of donated Coast of Maine compost, and a blend of powered minerals. These sheet-mulched beds will be ready for planting next spring. 

Volunteers met every Monday at 9am on a weekly basis throughout the summer to tend to bush beans, cherry tomatoes, and herbs. Bounty from this garden was donated to the offerings to the Food Pantry clients at the Labor of Love to receive fresh, organic vegetables grown on the grounds of the Labor of Love.  Daffodil and garlic bulbs were planted in late October. They hope to include a variety of annual and perennial crops next season, including berry bushes, fruits trees, grape vines, and a wide selection of herbs. 

A Christmas Wish List for the Victory Garden includes an eager group of volunteer gardeners come springtime beginning Mondays at 9am in April, wood chips to finish the pathways through the garden, a high quality deer fence so that humans will be able to enjoy the bulk of the harvest and fence installing expertise. Donations of edible perennials and fruits trees would be grand, and for an eager beaver a winter fundraiser to support the Victory Garden.   

Initial funding for the Labor of Love Victory Garden was provided through a Community Transformation Grant with the support of GEECA (Greater Eastport Ecumenical Church Association).  If you are interested in volunteering and/or donating funds or materials please contact Amy Zipperer directly at:  amy.a.zipperer@gmail.com  or call 853-0812 and leave a message with your  name and phone number stated twice. Thank you!