March meeting planned for community garden

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NORWAY — The Alan Day Community Garden project will hold its fifth community meeting from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, March 28, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, Main Street. The meeting is free and open to all who are interested in the effort to build a community garden on a three-acre parcel of land on Whitman Street.

The land was owned by Alan Day (1954-2008). Day’s daughters, Ruby and Emma Day-Branch, along with their mother, Katey Branch, are leading the effort to turn the land into a community garden.

Last spring and summer, volunteers scythed, mowed, cleaned, planted and created paths. They built three raised beds and cleared the barn. Participants “listened to the land,” guided by the principles of permaculture, a method of design based on ecology and community.

From September through February, participants have held four open community meetings, attended by dozens. They have seen photographs of community gardens all over the world and developed a mission statement: “to cooperatively create an educational demonstration garden using organic, sustainable methods to support an enduring community food system.”

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The group has also learned about the principles of permaculture, imagined seedlings for 12 to 24 new raised beds and organized five work groups in the areas of water catchment, soil and composting, signage, design and outreach. Several volunteers have pledged seedlings; more are needed.

At the March 28 meeting, the group will discuss the newly created Garden Coordinator position. Interested persons should check out the full job description on the Web site, alandaygarden.wordpress.com. Scott Vlaun of Moose Pond Arts and Ecology will lead a seed swap, so attendees are asked to bring any seeds they’ve saved.

The work groups will meet in break-out sessions and volunteers will be needed for several upcoming public events: Earth Day, the Norway Arts Festival and the “10/10 Global Work Party” with 350.org.

For more information, call Ken Morse, Healthy Oxford Hills, 739-6222 or e-mail Seal Rossignol at sealrossignol@hotmail.com.

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