Gardens of Plenty
Gardening is inexpensive and reliable! Gardens provide individuals and families with access to fresh, local food; they improve health and eliminate the high levels of food waste and carbon emissions that result from growing, harvesting, packaging, shipping, and purchasing food from the supermarket. Having a garden means food security throughout the season which contributes to economic independence and peace of mind.
Interview with Mario Johnson
YouthBuild and Americorps Program Director at Nubian Directions, Inc.
How long have you been gardening?
Approximately three years; this is my fourth season. When I was a little kid, my stepmom had a garden twice the size of this. But it was for punishment then.
Why did you start gardening here?
I just wanted to be outside, to get healthier, to be environment friendly and more health conscious. It [community gardening] is local, good food, good people, affordable, literally homegrown. I would like to see more people in the community get involved with growing healthy food. It is a really relaxing and healthy hobby.
What do you like to grow?
Kale! Tomatoes, all of it! Collard greens cucumbers.
History of the Community Gardens
During World War II, Vassar professors set up community gardens on the land at the then Vassar-run working Farm (much of which would eventually become Poughkeepsie Farm Project.) The gardens were the product of the national Victory Gardens movement that encouraged households to plant gardens to ensure food security and extend food rations during the war. However, when first established, the plots were exclusively available to a select “community” -- only someone affiliated with the college could pay to rent a plot, and the gardens became a social space for faculty members.
Today, Poughkeepsie Farm Project has taken over stewardship of the Community Gardens at the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve. The Community Gardens has 120 plots available to community members on a first-come-first-served basis. A newly constructed deer fence around the entire garden protects plants from hungry fauna, allows returning gardeners to plant perennials, and encourages interaction between gardeners as individual plot fences are no longer necessary!
As a participant you get to know your neighbors through community workshops, potlucks, and other events. You are required to garden organically and bring your own hose.
Join our Waitlist!
While we are not accepting new members to the community garden, we welcome you to add your name to the waitlist. We will contact you if we have any cancellations.
If you are invited to join the community garden for the season, please print and fill out the form to send along with your payment of $35 to:
Poughkeepsie Farm Project
P.O. Box 3143
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
We confirm existing Community Garden members from ?April to March? and open the waitlist in March. Gardening open in May.