Auburn is offering residents up to $150 to grow veggies, herbs and fruit this summer. The money is in the form of vouchers and can be used toward the purchase of equipment, supplies or seedlings to improve the selection of fresh and healthy food offerings. Christopher Wheelock/Sun Journal

AUBURN — The city is encouraging residents to grow veggies, herbs and fruit this summer, offering a bounty of up to $150 per household to make it happen.

The Victory Garden program is patterned after the one during World Wars I and II.

“During World War I & World War II, Victory Gardens were vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens planted at homes and in public parks,” according to a news release from the Auburn Business and Community Development Department. “People were encouraged to plant victory gardens not only to help the war effort, but also as a morale booster. These gardens were a part of daily life on the home front.”

The city funds, in the form of vouchers, can be used toward the purchase of equipment, supplies or seedlings to improve the selection of fresh and healthy food offerings.

People can choose a backyard garden, raised beds or container garden.

The vouchers can only be used at the following garden retailers:


• Small’s Plantcare, 726 Summer St.

• Gammon’s Garden Center and Landscape Nursery, 2832 Turner Road.

• Paris Farmers Union stores at 227 Main St. in Paris and 671 Main St. in Lewiston.

Residents can apply for a voucher online or obtain a copy by visiting the Business & Community Development Department offices at 95 Main St., fourth floor, or by calling the office at 333-6601, ext. 1336 or 1330, to request one be sent by mail. Evidence of residency in the form of a property tax bill or utility bill that match the name on the application is required.

Completed applications can be returned to the 95 Main St. office in person or mailed to the Business & Community Development Department, 60 Court St., Auburn, ME 04210 with notation “Victory Garden” on the envelope. Approved vouchers will be mailed to the address on the application.

Zachary Maher, the city’s deputy director of business and community development, said a number of residents Barker Mill Arms apartment complex on Mill Street have submitted applications. Applications are being processed the same day they are received, he said. After five days, the city had approved 38 as of Tuesday for a total of $5,825 out of a budget of $24,000.

Applications will be accepted until Aug. 1, or until the funds have been depleted, whichever comes first. The vouchers expire Aug. 30. The entire voucher must be used in one purchase.

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