DEAR SUN SPOTS: The Garden Angel committee has begun meeting to begin the process for the 2016 program. The project began in 2012 with the goal of a Franklin County community project to help seniors, physically disabled, or low/fixed income people garden at their own home, apartment or nursing home so they could enjoy the benefits of gardening and eating fresh vegetables. The intention was to match volunteers with people who either love to garden and are no longer able to for whatever reason or would like to learn how to garden.

The committee is excited and pleased with the development and growth of this program having started with just eight boxes and now having 24 boxes. We are, however, always looking for more volunteers to keep this program viable. If you would like to be on the committee or become a volunteer to work with recipients, please contact the Franklin County Cooperative Extension Office located at 138 Pleasant Street, Suite 1, Farmington, ME 04938, (207) 778-4650 or 1-800-287-1478.

The success of this program is evidenced through the recipient questionnaire responses. This past growing season, the majority of recipients said they would not change a thing about the program. They were appreciative of the variety of seeds and plants and really enjoyed watching their gardens grow. The best part, of course, was eating fresh vegetables and herbs. For some, it was a renewal to gardening and to some it was a brand new experience. Several were pleased to find out that Swiss chard tastes good and can be used in salads along with basil. Another highlight was accessibility. Wooden legs to raise the boxes were provided for those that needed them which meant no more bending down to water, weed or harvest food.

Participant application forms are available at some local food pantries and at the Franklin County Cooperative Extension Office at 138 Pleasant Street in Farmington. The completed forms are due back to the extension office by May 1. Every application will be reviewed and everyone will be called by May 15 to be notified if they are a recipient or not. For more information, contact Susan Gill, project coordinator, at (207) 778-6978. The Garden Angel Project is in partnership with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Safe Voices is in need of event volunteers for its 5K Walk/Run to End Domestic Violence. The event will be held on June 4 at Bates College. Volunteers will be needed from 7:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. If you would like to be involved in our 5K event, there are plenty of opportunities. Jobs include running our water station, course flagger/cheerleader, registrations/check-in, finish line water, face painting, etc. Call Staci Beal at (207) 795-6744, email [email protected] or sign up here: https://runsignup.com/Race/Volunteer/ME/Lewiston/SafeVoices5KtoEndDomesticViolence.

Use the QR code to go to Sun Spots online for additional information and links. This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can be emailed to [email protected], tweeted @SJ_SunSpots or posted on the Sun Spots Facebook page at facebook.com/SunJournalSunSpots. This column can also be read online at sunjournal.com/sunspots. We’ve joined Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/sj_sunspots.


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