Andover Community Garden

Position Available: Chairman of the Association

We are looking for a new volunteer Chairman of the Association, either from within or outside the community garden. Here is the description:

Guided by a long-term vision and regular feedback from the Garden board and members, the Chair of the Garden (COG), problem solves real-time issues with an eye to continual improvement of the garden. As point person for all town departments, the public, members, and the board, the COG oversees all administrative procedures, events, and communications internally and externally; channels include in person, email, website, on-site, and Zoom.

Working with managers and other volunteers, the COG:

* Fields inquiries from potential members and others

* Facilitates front-line communications within the Association

* Creates and executes educational programs on-site and on Zoom; distributes resources to attendees

* Facilitates opening, closing, and work days at both garden locations

* Determines web content

Please contact help@andovergarden.com if you are interested.


Mission

Our mission is to educate our members about organic gardening and to provide opportunities to them so that they can grow and harvest vegetables, herbs and flowers within a welcoming community setting.

Garden plots are open to all residents of Andover and surrounding towns who join our Association. Plots that are turning over are offered yearly to people on the waiting list on a first come, first serve basis. This process begins about March each year and runs though until we are full, usually by May. For 2022, all plots have been taken. If you are interested in signing up for a plot in 2023, please fill in this form.

Each Association member contributes an annual plot fee to cover maintenance. To be part of our association, you must be willing to agree to our requirements. These are fairly standard rules for community gardens, with requirements such as gardening organically and participating in workdays and cleanups; and we do try to help new folks with this request by giving lessons/ideas for how to garden organically. Once rented, you plant up your plot, harvest and maintain your own plot for your own family’s use during the gardening season.


Garden Managers

High Plain Garden:Your garden managers are: Yolanda Chico Miller, Lauren Conoscenti, Lisette Pylant, Jane Ward and Viki Vasquez. Viki and Jane are your plant gardening gurus. All other problems (general questions, hoses, water, locks, vacation, etc.) should be raised with your other three managers or the help line: help@andovergarden.com.


Announcements

Community Workday Cancelled

The gardens are in good shape so we're cancelling the workday for September 17th, The last community workday will be on October 29th, when the garden closes down for the season. In the meantime, you can help maintain the gardens by signing up for mowing or weed-whacking here.


End of Season

All produce should be harvested and your plot must be cleared by October 29th. Low overwintering plants may be left in place. Please contact us if your are thinking of leaving in plants over the winter.


Now is the time that growth is occurring quickly and finding its way out of the beds. Please keep everything on your own plot by allowing your squashes to circle the interior edges of the plot or giving them a support to climb up. Do not let them obstruct the paths— excess growth runs the risk of being mowed over. Also, we are seeing some weeds going to seed in plots. For your own sake and that of your neighbors, please don’t let your plot become overrun with weeds.


Viki's Advice Corner for September

Last summer’s tomato failure has turned itself around this season. I look around and it appears everyone is enjoying tomatopalooza. But we have all been hit pretty hard by flea beetles and cucumber beetles. Do not fret if your eggplant harvest is minimal and your cukes have not produced enough for one jar of pickles. Need I say more about squash bugs and powdery mildew affecting both summer and winter squashes? Check the Bugs and Treatments sections for more info.

Planning

Has everyone gotten their Fall garden checklists updated? Well, now is the time. I realize everyone’s to-do list expands after Labor Day but if you have the time and inclination, some simple tasks will make next year less frenetic. Before all has been forgotten, make some notes about what you grew and where, what you liked and didn’t, and what did well in the driest conditions in recent memory. Also, tidy the inside of your lot for weeds, fallen rotting vegs, and infected leaf debris. You’ll be pleased next spring you put the effort towards these maintenance chores.


If you like shopping online many seed companies have sales now with 2023 stock. Even if you don’t buy now, get ideas for next year. What should be purchased sooner rather than later is organic garlic and a mixed seed cover crop (“green manure”) for those bare spots in October. Organic garlic can be pricey so buy and share with a garden buddy. Garlic is typically planted in mid-late November.

Harvest, Eat, Replant

Our first “light” frost date is October 18th. Any plant/seed that is labeled “cold hardy” can still be sown until mid-September, such as lettuces, radishes, beets, bok choy, carrots ( for sweet baby size), kales (baby varieties), Asian greens, arugula, and scallions, Make sure you check the seed packet for days to maturity and add 2 weeks. The shorter days of strong sun slows growing considerably.

Questions? Comments? Help with maintenance or growing? Contact us at help@andovergarden.com.


What's Growing Now

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Check the Weather

High Plain Road Garden

The main garden is located on the Virginia Hammond Reservation, on High Plain Road across from the leaf composting site. The site has 65 plots:

4 feet x 10 feet plot: $34

4 feet x 20 feet plot: $68

5 feet x 10 feet plot: $42.50

5 feet x 25 feet plot: $106.25

There is a small parking lot with some allowance for parking on the grass when it is full. It usually accommodates most cars at a given time and the grass parking can be used on workdays.

Main Street Garden

Nestled behind the Andover Center for History and Culture at 97 Main Street, this smaller garden has 11 plots of two different sizes:

5 feet x 20 feet plot: $85

5 feet x 10 feet plot: $42.50

In downtown Andover the parking is tight. There are a few spaces located adjacent to the Andover Center for History and Culture and on the street in front of it. Paid parking is available in the town lot just up from the site, beside UBurger.