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North Salem Community Garden A Growing Success

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – The 35-bed community garden at North Salem High School, now officially dubbed “The Intergenerational Garden,” is nearly all planted and beginning to flourish.

“This spot was like a barren wasteland before,” said co-organizer Peter Kamenstein, “so the school was very happy to get involved. Dr. (George) Bovino and Joan Gabel Myers were terrific. Ten spaces are set aside for the school and there’s a raised bed for an elderly person. It’s already taken.”

The garden was a combined effort of the North Salem Open Land Foundation (NSOLF), administrators at the middle/high school and local volunteers. “Page Dickey designed the basic garden and the pergola,” said Kamenstein. “She and Lois Lippmann were very encouraging.”

“Then it was up to me to get it built,” Kamenstein continued. “Joe Constantino and his son, Nicholas, built the boxes. Peter Esposito gave us the dogwoods. Page planted grape vines at the pergola, so when it ages, it’s going to be fantastic.”

“The school provided the water and the town brought in the chips. The NSOLF paid for everything else,” Kamenstein said. “We had to put up deer fencing because we’ve already had a visit from the North Salem deer.”

“It’s a very happy place,” he observed. “Everyone enjoys the social aspects as well as the garden work. North Salem is all about agriculture and farming. This is a little bit of North Salem in back of the school.”

Rebecca Evans and Karen McGowan were at the garden watering plants Monday evening at sundown. McGowan said, “The trees from our neighbors are looming over our yard, so I love having this sunny spot. My husband is a chef, so we have two boxes. We’re growing lettuce, peas and tomatoes that we got from Home Depot.”

“I stop by every day before and after work,” said Evans. “I was the first one to start a bed. I was going to India, but I put in three plants before I left. When I came back, they were thriving. Other people were watering them for me. Now we all keep an eye out for each other.”

Seven plots are still available at the new Intergenerational Garden. There is no charge. For further information, call (914) 669-5414, ext. 2026, to speak with Bovino.

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