Easton Garden Works Adding Greenhouse to Lower Hackett Park

Work begins in earnest next week to construct a greenhouse at the Easton Garden Works community garden in Lower Hackett Park ahead of the 2022 growing season. The project, delayed by COVID-19, is coming to fruition and work will start March 1, weather permitting.

Easton Garden Works, a program of the nonprofit Greater Easton Development Partnership, will use the greenhouse to start seedlings indoors, expanding the amount and varieties of plants at its six community gardens.

“We’ve been hoping to add a greenhouse to get a jump on the growing season and we’re grateful to the City of Easton and its public works team, and the Alfero Company and the Hillis Group for making it happen,” says Miranda Wilcha, community gardens & compost coordinator at GEDP. “This will make a huge impact on how many plants we can provide to community gardeners and community organizations, as well as the amount of produce Easton Garden Works can donate to local food pantries and food justice initiatives”

The City of Easton hosts the greenhouse at the park and is also helping with the construction. Volunteers from The Alfero Company and the Hillis Group will also lend a hand.

“The Lower Hackett farm along with the Urban Farm on the south side of the city are just two more examples of the way volunteerism and collaboration make our community so special,” says Dave Hopkins, director – City of Easton Department of Public Works. “The story of how these spaces fill area food pantries and connect with residents is really impressive and inspiring.”

Lower Hackett Park is also the current site of the Easton Compost Program, a complementary project administered by Easton Garden Works. From 2020-March 2021, 31 tons of food waste was diverted from landfills and turned into nutrient-rich compost. Participants in the program drop off food waste at the garden and pick up finished compost from American BioSoils. Compost is also added to the community gardens to enrich the soil.

“The greenhouse will support Easton Garden Works, and efforts of our partners by helping us grow seedlings more efficiently, and allow us to better respond to the types of plants and vegetables that community gardeners and members of our community have been asking for,” says Jared Mast, executive director-GEDP. “We also expect that the greenhouse will help Hackett garden continue to produce more vegetables for our community-based food programs.”

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Get to Know Easton Garden Works

GEDP runs six community gardens throughout the City of Easton. They are located at 10th & Pine streets, Lynn Street, Juliana Street, Walter House Community Garden, Lower Hackett Park, as well as shared space at Easton Area Community Center.

Many of the gardens offer space for Easton residents to apply for a community garden plot, with the remaining space allocated to grow produce for local food pantries. For 2021, with the help of volunteers, Easton Garden Works;

  • Donated 600+ pounds of produce
  • Provided 820+ seedlings and 52 milkcrate container gardens to Easton residents
  • Gave away 1,400 free mini seed packets through Little Free Libraries in the city and a Seed Swap event
  • Organized garden activities and programming for Easton Area Community Center, Boys & Girls Club and Vegetables in Community

Easton Garden Works hosts plant swaps, seed swaps and ‘The More You Grow’ gardening workshops throughout the year. Get all the details at westwardeaston.org/gardens. Learn more about Easton Garden Works and GEDP’s programs by signing up for texts from GEDP. Text “VOLUNTEER“ to 484-845-7080 to get involved, or learn about upcoming events and festivals by texting “EASTONEVENTS” to the same number.

Tours of Lower Hackett Park will be offered in April during GEDP’s Earth Week. Details will be provided closer to the event. Follow @EastonGardenWorks on Facebook or Instagram for more information.