Making Scarecrows in the Pocket Park

In October 2016 a group of Newton School 4th Graders came to the Pocket Park with their teacher, Kate Hill, and a few other adults. They came to make scarecrows, and as the photos show, it was a fun and successful project.

Pocket Park and Garden Tour

In the summer of 2016, the Pocket Park was thriving, with nearly all the trees and bushes doing well. There was even a smattering of fruit, mostly blueberries, gooseberries, currants, a few plums and even five apples! Later in the fall, some cranberries and lingonberries appeared. It was an encouraging outcome since this was only the park's second summer. 

The photo above shows an experiment at the park: growing tomatoes and other plants on hay bales. The cement blocks hold the hay in place as it decomposes.

In August Barbara organized a garden tour, both for fun and also, perhaps, to raise a little money for the Pocket Park. Unfortunately it was a busy weekend in Strafford (like most summer weekends) so attendance was low, but for those who came, it was an enjoyable morning.

People gathered first at the Pocket Park and then toured Liz Clarke's berry farm, the Newton School garden with Cat Buxton, Kemba Russell's hoop house, Andy Rowles' garden, and Barbara Smith's permaculture projects at her home. (Photos above and below)

Currants, blueberries and more, at Liz Clarke's Morrill Mountain Fruit Farm.

Above and below, the Newton School garden project, led by Cat Buxton. These photos were taken soon before children returned to the school.

Kemba Russell at her movable hoop house, which extends the growing season. Below: crops are thriving in the house.

On the same property, Andy Rowles has been planting a garden for years, donating large quantities of potatoes and onions to The Haven.

Tim Denny, with his wife Susan Hodges, experimented this season with growing crops on straw bales -- of which they had many, left over from construction of their straw bale house. They used several rows of bales, all of which thrived, as the rightmost photo shows.

After the tour, folks gathered at Barbara Smith's, where they enjoyed tea made with mint from the Pocket Park.

Early Fall 2015

Looking at the Strafford Edible Pocket Park early this September, it's hard to believe that it is still less than a year since work started. It already seems so well-established!

Below are a few developments in the last week of August and first week of September:

Eva's bench has now been installed. Beyond it is her blueberry patch, and behind it is the river. Wally poured footings and set the "legs," and soon the top was in place with help from the strong arms and keen eyes of Sherm and Mo Wilson.

   We had a very successful sale at the end of the summer - selling Global Warming Mums -                                         supplied by Vermont Organics Reclamation.

Above is our first and still best-looking plum. The trees have been in the ground for less than a year, so we're happy to see it. Below are cardinal flowers that are nearly as tall as Hannah's Apple Tree; also elderberries.

These are two wind chimes. The first, donated by Bob Bauer, has a wonderful sound but we must still attach a wind-catcher to make it ring! On the right are Woodstock Autism Chimes; all after-tax profits go to autism treatment and research. They were donated by Lisa Durstin.

Barbara is standing beside a huge, nasty pile of buckthorne. It's in Bob Bauer's backyard right now but will soon disappear in a puff of smoke. Cutting and hauling it out of the park was a nasty job, performed with good will by Mo and Sherm Wilson, Kemba Russell and Patrick Smith. We are super-grateful to them and to Bob for his patience and help.

Summer 2015

Evening primrose, lupines, and daisies welcoming visitors to the park - to be joined this fall by global warming mums.

The beginnings of a hazelbert hedge - that will block invasive soccer balls and add nuts to our diets.

Pear, jostaberry, gooseberry and low growing blueberry guild.

Wally helping to build and prepare the footings for one of our new granite benches - bought from Sunapee Granite Works. The first bench, finished and in place.

Conner helping to beat back the Japanese knotweed and our new dogi pot. Dogs are welcome to come, under supervision, and play in the river. Please clean up afterwards.

It was a harsh winter, and many of the fruit trees needed to be cut back, but they did survive and are growing back this summer. Here they are surrounded by achilea and  lungwort (for early pollination).

Eva's plants bore a surprising number of blueberries in their first season.