Thursday, October 20, 2011

Work Day: Saturday 10/22 from 9-12


The Community Garden needs your help!

On Saturday, October 22 from 9-12

We will be:
- Building the last of the garden beds and screwing the corners of the present beds (if you have a power drill please bring it! We need to put more screws in the corners of the beds)

- Collecting and spreading seaweed, manure, grass and leaves

- Spreading woodchips as needed

Please come for an hour, two or the whole time! We will have another work day next Saturday 10/29 from 9-12.

CGC Secretary

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lisa's Fantasy Sheet Mulch Recipe

For those who missed Lisa Fernandes' fantastic "No-Dig Gardening" workshop, click here for Lisa's "magic soil" recipe. One of the things we learned at the workshop is that this recipe is very flexible, so you can use what you can find in your yard and garden to create great growing conditions for your garden next spring. Just make sure to top your layers off with the newspaper and hay layers to keep the weeds away!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

VOTE Daily in October for CGC to win a portion of the $25,000 Better Neighbor Fund!

Here's the link:

Town and Country Federal Credit Union is giving away $25,000 to benefit our community in November. Anyone can vote for their favorite community groups or causes during the month of October.
CGC is one of the groups in the running for a piece of these funds!

Here is how you can help us fund and build our first organic garden:

HOW TO VOTE for the Community Garden Collective in three easy steps...

1.)  Click this link:

2.)  Click on the advertisement for the "BETTER NEIGHBOR FUND".  The causes are listed alphabetically. 

3.) Please find the Community Garden Collective on the list, select us and fill out the information at the bottom of the screen.

The awards will be presented in mid November.

Gardening info for the day:
"Permaculture, at its core, is a design system for creating sustainable human environments. It offers positive solutions to the problems facing the world by using ecology as the basis of organizing systems of food production, housing, technology, economics and community.

Permaculture defies one-sentence definitions. It is as rich and complex as life itself."

This information is from Portland Maine Permaculture:

Thank you for your vote,

Sunday, September 25, 2011

No-Dig Garden Bed Workshop / Permaculture Methods Sat. October 1, 8:30 a.m.

What: No-Dig Garden Bed Lecture and Workshop: Permaculture Methods (a "no dig" and organic method to create garden soil). Lecture and demonstration by permaculture expert Lisa Fernandes.

Cost: FREE!When: Saturday, October 1, 2011 starting at
8:30 am.
Where: 496 Ocean Street, South Portland Planning and Development Department - the former Hamlin School

The lecture and demonstration will teach you how to create the loam for a garden using organic materials from your home and neighborhood. 

After the lecture we are planning to have some work ready to do for the garden (i.e. tasks may include possibly spread woodchips, put wet newspapers in the beds and shovel manure into the beds). If you are able to give some of your time after the event please bring gloves, a shovel and sturdy shoes. More workers the merrier!

To RSVP please contact the CGC at or Crystal Goodrich at 671-6393.

Finish Building Beds for the Community Garden Tuesday Sept. 9/27, 9am to 4 pm

Hello Garden Volunteers!

We still have a few beds left to build and two handicapped accessible beds. Susan Chase and a volunteer will be working on the beds on Tuesday 9/27 of this week between 9 am and 4pm. If you can make it for one or two hours to help build we would appreciate it.

Come If you need more information or if you plan on coming later in the day please call Susan at 615-7840 to make sure the builders still need your help.

Thank you!
Crystal Goodrich, CGC Secretary

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Workers needed for Tuesday 9/20 from 6-7:30!

Thank you to those who responded to our request for help - but we weren't able to get enough people to work on Sunday to help move the beds. Weekends seem to be tough, so let's try a weeknight! 

We have changed the work time to:
Tuesday Sept. 20  from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Hamlin School Garden, 496 Ocean Ave. 

If 5 or 6 people get one or two friends who can do some heavy work to come we will be good to go! We need to shift some of the beds to adjust the final location of the garden.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Our First Work Day Was A HUGE Success! Thank you!


On behalf of the Community Garden Collective's Board, I would like to express our sincerely appreciation for all the effort and hard work put forth by all the volunteers who attend our first SP Community Garden Work Day.  Because of your hard work and volunteerism the gardens are taking shape and becoming a reality- seeing is believing!
I was at the site today and I am still amazed at how much work was accomplished between 9 - 2 PM.  We are fortunate to have such a dedicated, hard-working group of volunteers.
Future activities will include gathering to spread woodchips on top of the cardboard - a task to be accomplished before the 10/1 workshop.  Gathering seaweed for the beds will also be another work event. An email will be going out this week with more information. Please stay tuned for these days and those willing to loan or use their trucks - your help will be very beneficial. 

Please remember to collect a stack of newspapers for the plots. Each plot will need 6 pounds of newspapers. You can bring them to any of the events or drop some off at Crystal's house, 17 Highland Ave., in the breezeway. You can call if you need more information: 671-6393.
We will be sending out additional reminders on what materials you can be collecting to help make the 10/1 another great successful work day.   More information will be sent out regarding the FREE lecture and hands-on workshop as we prepare the soil for our beds using a no-dig/lasagna layering of materials to super charge our soil with healthy nutrients and compost.
Again, many thanks for a tremendous Volunteer Work Day on Saturday, let's keep growing our community!
Patti Smith, President
Community Garden Collective

Friday, August 26, 2011

Work Day, September 10th - Help Build the Garden!

Volunteers - COME ON DOWN!

WHAT: Work Day - for the new Community Garden at Hamlin School

DATE: September 10th (RAIN DATE SEPTEMBER 11th)

TIME: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

LOCATION: Hamlin Elementary School, 496 Ocean Street - the intersection of Sawyer Street and Ocean Ave. (Rt. 77).


It's time to build the raised beds for the garden and make the pathways with a permaculture method!

There are two goals for the day:

Please bring work gloves, work clothing suitable for woodworking, durable footwear, a water bottle and snacks. If you have a cordless drill with a spare battery please let us know so we are sure to have enough tools to build with.

Using permaculture methods we will be preparing the pathways for the garden using cardboard. This job will require utility knives / box cutters to lay the cardboard throughout the pathways, overlapping it to prevent grass growth. This is a less strenuous job but will need many hands. Please let us know if you can bring utility knives of your own.

PLEASE RSVP to so we can prepare for food at lunchtime for volunteers.

We will need many people to come to the build. Bring a friend!
If you have any questions please contact the CGC Board members at

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Upcoming Events and News

Hello Everyone!
It's been a busy summer since we had our open house in the spring, and lots of things have happened. We are in the midst of grant writing, fundraising, spreading the word about CGC and getting ready to build the first garden at Hamlin School this fall!

The Community Garden Collective will be at the Art In the Park event this Saturday August 13th. We will be under a tent at a table near the  "Officials" so please drop by! We will have a supply of Clynk bags for you to take home, fill with your returnable cans and bottles and take to Hannaford. The barcode on the bag will give CGC credit for your returnables, a great way for us to continually raise funds!

Art In the Park
Date: Saturday, August 13
Location: Mill Creek Park
Time: 9 am to 4 pm
Community Garden Collective will be under the tent near the "Officials"
Take some Clynk bags home and choose a seedling plant to take home as a thank you for your support!
Bring your friends and help us spread the word about community gardens. We will need lots of help in Sept/Oct as we “Raise the beds and prepare the soil”. 

CLYNK Bags - Ongoing Fundraiser
If you would like some bags NOW I can drop them off at your house. Just email me at this address with how many you would like and your address and I will arrange for you to get a few. You can also pick them up at my house at 17 Highland Ave. Just let me know how many you need and I will leave them in my breezeway with your name on them. Email to let us know when you need more! You can also call me at 671-6393 and let me know.

Bayside Bowling Fundraiser
On Monday, August 1 we had our fundraiser at Bayside Bowling in Portland. The event had light attendance, but the lanes were busy with league members. We will know by next week how much money will be donated to CGC by Bayside Bowling. When you want to spend a night out doing something fun support the businesses who support CGC, Bayside Bowling is a lot of fun and they have great food! Thanks to those who attended!

Garden Building and More!
We will need help this fall building the garden beds and preparing the garden! Please keep updated through Facebook and our emails for  opportunities to help! We have a very motivated group of supporters and we look forward to working with you even more!

Please contact the group with any questions at this email. If you want to reach a specific board member please indicate their name in the email and it will be forwarded to them. 

Thank you!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Plant Sale to Benefit the CGC!

WHAT: Plant Sale / Small Yard Sale - a few gardening items
(There are perennials only - no veggies or annuals, sorry!)

WHEN: Saturday, May 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

WHERE: 17 Highland Ave, Crystal Goodrich's house.

FOR: Community Garden Collective Fundraiser!


Please park at Cottage Road Service Station on the corner of Highland and Cottage Rd. and walk over! The sale is in the white ranch with the garage behind the service station.

See you there!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hamlin Garden Fundraiser at Hannaford Mill Creek - Month of May

Please forward this to your friends - so we can get the most donations possible! Thank you!
Community Garden Collective is having a fund raiser to support the Hamlin School Garden!

For the month of May at Hannaford in Mill Creek you can donate your returnable cans to our efforts to build the Hamlin Garden!

Please go to Hannaford - Mill Creek and print our your Clynk / can returnable slips and donate the slips to the Community Garden Collective!

Right after the cash registers there is a small kiosk and you can can drop cash donations into it as well as Clynk slips. 

The CGC will receive 100% of the donations in the kiosk for the entire month of May!
This is our first fundraiser and we hope to get the ball rolling with some money to get materials purchased so we can begin building later this summer and fall. 

Also think about where you can get more can donations - from work, family and friends? Get those cans to Clynk and we can get the proceeds!

If you don't have a Clynk account - cans can be dropped off at my house,
17 Highland Ave., South Portland (the corner of Highland and Cottage Road)
. I am two doors down from the Main Library parking lot, and directly behind the old Cottage Road Service Station. You can call for directions: 671-6393.

Cans can be left in my yard or in the breezeway anytime.

Please make sure you get down to Clynk and donate your slips and have your friends do the same! Every bit helps!

Please pass the information on to others, we need all the support we can get!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lease for community garden at Hamlin School APPROVED by City Council!

Tonight the South Portland City Council approved the terms of the lease for the Hamlin School property so the Communuity Garden Collective can move forward with the plans to build a 39 plot community garden! The garden is expected to be ready for planting in spring of 2012.

E-mail us if you would like to be put on a waiting list for a plot!

Keep updated on our progress and our volunteer opportunities by joining our FACEBOOK GROUP!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Council to Vote on Granting Lease of Hamlin School Property to CGC on Wed. 4/20

The CGC has presented their plan to the City Council and has had two successful workshops with the City Councilors. This Wednesday, April 20th, the councilors will vote on allowing the City to sign a lease with CGC. This vote will allow us to move forward and begin construction of the community garden, which will be accessible and available to any South Portland resident. 

The meeting will be at City Hall, on the second floor, Council Chambers. The meeting begins at 7:00 pm, but the lease for the garden is the last item on a long agenda. CGC is asking for you to attend the first half of the meeting and make comments if you would like to at the first public comment session. If you cannot make the meeting at the end of this post there is a list of City Council e-mail addresses and you can e-mail the council to let them know about your support.

E-mails to councilors need to be sent by Tuesday (4/19) afternoon so the councilors have a chance to read them before the vote Wednesday night.

Your support will be helpful in moving this community project forward.

The garden is less than 20% of the entire open space at the former Hamlin School allowing for many other uses of the land.

As a non-profit group the CGC will be investing approximately $24,000 in this community garden. These funds will be raised through donations, fundraising and grants applied for by the CGC.

Due to the significant monetary investment, the CGC is seeking appropriate and fair exit/early termination language. 

Below is the exit/early termination language that is being put forth for consideration and hopefully, adoption:
The City would need to give CGC notice by December 31st of the calendar year.
The City would make best efforts to find an alternative, suitable community garden site(s).
The City would assist in the physical relocation of raised beds, shed, and bins.
If the City gives notice of termination on or before 12/31/11, CGC would get back 75% of the cost of actual improvements* to the property
If the City gives notice of termination on or before 12/31/12, CGC would get back 50% of the cost of actual improvements to the property, not to exceed $10,000.
If the City gives notice of termination on or before 12/31/13, CGC would get back 40% of the cost of actual improvements to the property, not to exceed $7,000.
If the City gives notice of termination on or before 12/31/14, CGC would get back 30% of the cost of actual improvements to the property, not to exceed $5,000.
If the City gives notice of termination on or before 12/31/15, CGC would get back 20% of the cost of actual improvements to the property, not to exceed $3,000.

*Improvements* to include, but not limited to, fencing, raised beds, shed, plumbing and irrigation, soil and compost). 

If you can't make the meeting Wednesday night please email the City Council members to let them know you support the approval of the lease so CGC can build a community garden at the old Hamlin School.

Also join us on Facebook: CGC on Facebook

Thank you,
Crystal Goodrich
CGC Secretary

E-mail your City Councilors and support the Community Garden Collective in obtaining a lease for a portion of the Hamilin School property to build a garden!

Rosemarie DeAngelis

Tom Coward

Patti Smith

Maxine Beecher

Jim Hughes

Alan Livingston

Tom Blake

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Portland Press Herald

The following was in the Portland Press Herald today:

SOUTH PORTLAND — A group hoping to start a community garden at the former Hamlin School has made its pitch to the City Council.
The Community Garden Collective would like to lease space at the former school property on Ocean Street, by Sawyer Street, from the city. The plan is to have between 35 and 50 gardeners, depending on the size of the plots, said Helen Slocum, the group's vice president and acting coordinator.
The group outlined its proposal at a City Council workshop last night. The council requested additional information, particularly about parking at the site, which is now used by the city's Planning Department.
Slocum said her group wants to work with a couple of neighbors who expressed opposition to the project.
The collective focused on the former Hamlin School largely because of the sun and access to water on the site. The group had looked at other locations that City Manager James Gailey said could be available.
Slocum said the collective hopes to create additional community gardens elsewhere in the city after the first one is established.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Supporters of CGC Plan Gather at City Council Workshop

Tonight was the first presentation to the South Portland City Council of the CGC's plan for the new community garden. The proposed garden would be located at Hamlin School on the corner of Sawyer St. and Ocean Ave. Peggy Stewart, CGC member, enthusiastically reviewed the major points of the project. Each City Council member had a copy of the comprehensive plan for the meeting.

Overall the audience consisted of several supporters. There were two residents who live across the road from Hamlin School who were against the idea of the garden altogether. They cited concerns of traffic, parking, and that the garden will be unsightly.

In contrast one neighbor who also lives across the road from the proposed garden came to voice her support for the plan. She supports the use of the city property as a shared community space for a garden. Members of the CGC were in attendance stating their personal reasons for working with the group and their hopes that the proposed lease of the property for the garden would be accepted by the Council.

Councilors were very supportive of the plan overall. Several of them commented about the positive impact community gardens have in cities and how the idea was an excellent one. Several of them noted the waiting list for the Hinckley Park Garden was long and this garden was needed to fulfil those needs. They liked the idea of using the garden to help educate the local children about planting and growing food and supported the use of three plots of veggies that will be donated to the local South Portland Food Pantry. They also commented they would like to see the group expand gardens across the city into other areas where the city is more densely populated, Red Bank for example (which CGC plans to do following the success of the Hamilin School Garden).

Councilors asked CGC to come up with some more ideas to work on the following concerns they have about the plan:
  • parking concerns
  • location of the garden on the Hamlin School property, will the garden take up too much space?
  • neighbor concerns - the suggestion was made to have the concerned neighbors work with the CGC to collaborate and find solutions to the residents' concerns so everyone can be comfortable with the plan.
  • the length of the lease, does the city know what they will be doing with the property in 2, 3 or 5 years? (the lease was proposed by the city to be 5 years, CGC had asked for 10)
  • specifics regarding access to the garden (a possible curb cut in the sidewalk would have to be made to make it accessible for people with disabilities)
  • water access - possible plumbing needs / requirements
  • specific plans for the group to ensure participants in the garden are following the regulations and are keeping the garden in good shape
  • planting shrubs around the permimeter of the garden to make it more attractive to the neighbors.
  • locations of gardens in other more densely populated parts of the city are needed
These issues will be worked on by the CGC with the City Manager and the plan will be brought back to the Council to see if there needs to be another workshop or if the lease proposal can go forward.

We will keep you updated on any progress, and until then please spread the word about CGC! We need your support!

Please contact us if you have any questions, comments or concerns!
Crystal Goodrich, CGC member

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Non-Profit Group Promotes Organic Community Gardens

A new non-profit organization, the Community Garden Collective (CGC), has been formed by a group of South Portland gardening enthusiasts. The CGC is committed to creating and supporting opportunities for all residents, regardless of circumstances, to have access to organic gardens within the South Portland community. CGC’s goal is to develop safe, beautiful and well-equipped facilities for gardeners to grow and harvest organic produce and flowers.

CGC has identified its first community garden location, a small portion of the land behind the former Hamlin School on the corner of Sawyer Street and Ocean Ave. The group’s goal is to have the first organic gardening spaces available for planting in spring of 2012.

The proposal for the gardening project will be presented at the South Portland City Council Workshop on Monday, January 24th at at the Community Center.  Please attend and share your comments!

Please contact Linda by phone 799-3937 or e-mail at if you would like more information.