In 2011, the Red Eft Project began working with one of its founding board members to establish a community garden in New Hampshire’s north country community of Lancaster. Over the course of 18 months, what started as one person’s vision gradually became the shared reality of a community. The Red Eft project received generous startup funding for the project through a $15,000 grant from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. Within two years, the Lancaster Community Garden (LCG) became home to 36 garden plots and it continues to gain momentum, becoming a true community effort.
The garden is located at the site of Lancaster’s former Elm’s Hotel, offered for the garden’s use by landowners David and Linda Rexford. After a spring garden raising in May 2012, the site continued to transform with ongoing efforts of community volunteers, partnering organizations and participating gardeners.
The Lancaster Community Garden’s mission is to nurture a caring community by providing space, offering support and creating opportunities for the residents of Lancaster and neighboring communities to learn about and experience the rewards of growing their own food and sharing their bounty with those in need. Their goal is to offer access to a garden for those who do not have green space available, while encouraging individuals to help themselves become more self reliant. It is a “sharing garden” – meaning in lieu of rental fees, gardeners are required to share their crops with an individual, family, or organization in need.
After a year of start-up collaboration with Red Eft, the Lancaster Community Garden reorganized, using the solid network of local support it had developed to transition into its next phase of operation. The garden committee – turned board of directors – envision the garden becoming a landmark within the community. Together, they continue to build a place where different generations can come together to relish all the benefits that come with gardening – from eating fresh, local produce to the simple pleasure of digging your hands into the earth.
We wish them continued success and are proud to have been an early part of this wonderful community project!