Lois A. Breault-Melican, Chapter President of the American Chestnut Foundation of MA & RI, presented the history of the American Chestnut Tree from the Chinese blight that nearly wiped out the chestnut trees to the experimental program to bring this amazing tree back to the forests. Lois reviewed the different aspects of the initiative and the progress being made including the experimental Chestnut Tree farm at Tantasqua Jr. High School.
Lois receiving an SRC mug from President Austin.
Roberta Watson, director of the St. John Paul II Food Pantry, visited the Club and summarized the amount of fresh, organic vegetables delivered to the Food Pantry by the Community Food Collaborative (CFC). The total yield was 1,524 pounds from 20 different vegetables. Favorites by the recipients were cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, summer squash, tomatoes, zucchini, watermelons and winter squash. Roberta noted 831 people, which includes 164 seniors, each month appreciated the efforts of the CFC in an average of 310 households.
Lisa Meunier was presented with a check to help in her efforts to provide gifts and turkey dinners to families and their children who are in need during this Holiday Season. Lisa shared statistics of those experiencing difficult times and challenging physical and emotional health, all of which is being addressed by Burgess School and its staff.
President Austin presents the check to Lisa.
Several volunteers recently attended the Tantasqua Craft Fair talking with attendees about the CFC garden’s very successful first year. We heard lots of enthusiasm about the project and several signed up to help.
Members of the Club spent another afternoon selling chances to win a basket of Lottery Tickets worth $1,000. This time they attended the Craft Fair at Tantasqua Regional High School. We printed 1,000 tickets and started selling them in early September. When we arrived at the Craft Fair we had a little over 100 tickets left to sell and SOLD OUT within a few hours. All proceeds from the ticket sales are used for scholarships for Tantasqua students pursuing a college degree. Our thanks to everyone who bought a ticket(s) for this very worthwhile local cause. The drawing for the winner will be held in early December. Stay tuned to hopefully see your name as the winner!!
It was really good weather late yesterday afternoon when we completed the harvest of potatoes followed by the fall cleanup. It was bittersweet to put the garden “to bed” for the winter after such an active and successful growing season. Ten of us worked for over an hour to get everything cleaned up and to put the tools away. We are anxious to get the final tally from the St. John Paul II Food Pantry on how many pounds of fresh organic vegetables we produced this season to help those in need of food.
We aren’t resting over the winter. The Board of Directors are having their first meeting next week to start organizing and prioritizing the ‘To Do’ list for next year. Thank you to Head Cabbage Joe, Klaus, Glenys, Pauline, Jim, Bob, Bill B., Eunice, Karen and Bill P. who helped last night. We also want to thank our sponsors and donors whose generosity helped us get the supplies we needed to start the Community Food Collaborative. Lastly, we’d also like to thank our 90+ volunteers who have given us encouragement and support all season. Rest up this winter everyone because we’ll need your help again next season as we bring the garden back to life – bigger and better!
Head Cabbage Joe harvesting potatoes.