WGBH Interview - Together We Give
June 7th, 2022
NH PBS - Our Hometown Nashua
Premiere Screening Nashua Performing Arts Center
June 15th, 2023 3:00 PM tickets here
Community Spotlight SCU Magazine
It all started with Justin and Jessica Munroe’s backyard vegetable garden. As they planted seeds one early spring day, the couple considered how important the garden was to them for their physical health, their mental health, for the food they could provide for their family.
Living in Nashua, they knew that many people in the city didn’t have the luxury of land to garden on. “We were thinking, maybe we could give a plot of land to one of our neighbors who might be in need,” Justin says. They were especially concerned about people Justin calls “new Americans,” refugees and immigrants from other countries.
Their own yard was too small, so they reached out to St. Joseph Hospital, which had a large plot of land available, large enough for a community vegetable garden. They then reached out to people who might want to take part. “In our first season, we had 20 different families from 12 different countries gardening in that space,” Justin says. “That was a lot of fun. We learned from that, and we have been growing ever since.”
That first season was seven years ago. Now, what became Grow Nashua has seven community gardens throughout the city and 150 families taking part. The raised-bed gardens are placed in “food deserts,” areas where people don’t have access to fresh produce within walking distance. “Ninety-five percent of our families are low-income families who struggle with access to nutritious food,” Justin says. “There are a lot of corner stores, but often they don’t have much to offer besides sugary drinks and chips.”
The seven community gardens are on land provided free of charge by the City of Nashua and the Nashua School District. The gardening expertise, also free, is provided by the Grow Nashua Team and host of "Garden Tender" volunteers. "We help with everything," Justin says. "We're coaching them about what to plant and when to plant." To build a gardener's knowledge, each month Grow Nashua offers virtual agricultural training programs.
The effort to educate extends into the schools. Justin’s wife, Jessica, leads a Garden Basics Builder program for fourth-and fifth-graders in three of the city’s Title I schools, schools where on average 75% of the students qualify for free and reduced-cost lunches. As they’re learning soil basics, plant systems, garden nutrition and garden planning, the students put their knowledge to work in a garden on school property. Continue reading full article PDF here.
A local nonprofit, a beverage company charity and several volunteers collaborated to help upgrade a Nashua community garden last week. 20 volunteers took part in the project at the Pine Street Urban Growing Space, located at the Nashua Heritage Trail on Pine Street. The group constructed and painted new gates and planting beds and created new seating areas to allow gardeners and visitors to enjoy the growing space.
The garden is run by Grow Nashua, a nonprofit with a mission of connecting and caring for underserved families by providing the resources to grow their own food.
Partnering with Grow Nashua on the initiative was Love, Tito's Block to Block. Run by Tito's Handmade Vodka, the initiative seeks to provide fresh and healthy food to communities by working alongside local nonprofit organizations and volunteers to create green spaces, including community gardens and farms.
"Tito's Block to Block has been an amazing partner of Grow Nashua for the last three years and has helped us to build three garden sites, add wheelchair accessibility features to be more inclusive in our offerings, and to improve the community garden infrastructure in traditionally underserved neighborhoods," Justin Munroe, the executive director of Grow Nashua, told Patch.
Munroe continued: "We are so grateful that this new growing space will provide more spots for families to grow veggies for their dinner tables and simultaneously strengthen their neighborhood relationships, which we feel is equally important."
The upgraded farm, according to Grow Nashua, will help the organization continue to increase access to fresh, nutrient-dense food, especially for people who live far from grocery stores, have limited transportation and struggle with the expense of nutritious food.
Another way to get healthy food into a community is to grow it there! Grow Nashua is creating urban vegetable gardens throughout the city at schoools, community sites and by partnering with non-profit organizations. Justin Munroe, executive director, says "Food is really an amazing tool to build community." One of the newest gardens was established through a partnership with the Police Athletic League (PAL) that already runs an afterschool program. " They have a space connected to thir facility that is in the inner city," Munroe says. " We are offring space to the paretnt sna dpeople in the neighborhood."
The next garden on tap..... click to open PDF of full article.
The Police Athletic League (PAL) after school program had an inner-city farming space that fell into disrepair in 2017 due to lack of participation and a creeping knotweed problem. In meeting with the students and PAL leadership team, Grow Nashua realized that the challenge they experienced in 2017 was that a few families that had volunteered in the garden moved away.
PAL reached out to Grow Nashua to see if they could assist with getting the space cleaned up and pair underprivileged families who wanted to grow their own food. Grow Nashua was able to start the project thanks to funds from a 3M grant to help improve the lives of at risk families in Nashua.
In April, Grow Nashua took on the project, drafted up plans with the students' input and went into the space with several local volunteers, including Rivier University and Comcast, to clean up all the debris that had flown into the space over time. To control the knotweed, the space has been covered with plywood and then the students will be growing pumpkins and sunflowers within tires found near-by to cover the plywood.
The families that will be participating were able to connect through several community outreach partners to find families in need that were local to this space. 70 percent of the space will be ten raised beds that will be used by those families. A wicking system was installed in May that will give these busy families a chance to go several days without watering. This particular wicking system was developed by NH Master Gardener, Ron Christie. This wicking system technique uses 80% less water than a hose or sprinkler.
“We also have families with children that want to be active and have an outside space where they can learn the skill of growing their own food,” said Justin Munroe, Executive Director of Grow Nashua. Grow Nashua acts as a resource and a partner in lining up all the pieces to make that easy for these families from to have a space, the plants, supplies and education classes to support their efforts.
On June 3rd, Grow Nashua hosts the first of their training classes with NH Master Gardener Dave McConville of DMC Permaculture, who will be teaching the basic needs of plants, plant life cycle, soil composition, soil tests, watering basics, NH growing climate and the timing of starting a garden in NH.
Julai 13, 2017
Msimu wa kurudi shuleni ulikuja mapema kwa wengine katika Shule ya Msingi ya Amherst Street Jumanne wakati wafanyikazi na wajitolea wengine walifanya kazi kubadilisha uwanja wa shule uliochoka, lakini uliopendwa kuwa kile wanachotarajia kitakuwa bustani inayostawi na ya kuvutia.
Jitihada ni ya hivi karibuni kutoka kwa GrowNashua, shirika lisilo la faida ambalo linalenga kukuza bustani ndogo ndogo katika maeneo ambayo kwa kawaida hayawezi kuhusishwa na kilimo, na kutoa elimu na kutia moyo kwa watu ambao hawawezi kuwa na msingi au njia za kutengeneza bustani hustawi.
Wajitolea kadhaa walioloweshwa lakini wakijishughulisha walisugua, wakakata na kupalilia njia yao kupitia ua wa kati wakati wa mvua ya Jumanne asubuhi, wakiwa na bidii kuandaa vitanda vilivyopo kwa mimea mpya na uzoefu mpya wa kujifunza kwa wanafunzi wa shule hiyo.
Eneo hilo limetumika sana kwa njia ile ile kama uwanja wa nyuma wa nyumba ya miji. Maua na vichaka vilichanua, lakini vimezidi kidogo, katika vitanda vichache ambavyo vilikuwa vimeota magugu ya kutosha kujaza kadhaa kusoma zaidi ...
Jarida la Mfano
Mahojiano ya Klabu ya Bustani
Hadithi ya Bustani ya Jamii
Justin Munroe anaishi na familia yake huko Nashua. Kama Mwanzilishi wa JMPhotography.com , ana utaalam katika Picha za Harusi kwa miaka 15 iliyopita na pia ni mpenzi wa bustani. Hivi majuzi nilikutana naye kwenye darasa la Ustadi wa Bustani la UNH katika chemchemi. Kilichonivutia juu ya Justin ni kwamba ameingia kufanya jambo lenye athari kwa wale walio chini na kuelimisha umma juu ya bustani. Amepata msaada wa kampuni kuanzisha bustani kadhaa za jamii huko Nashua. Bustani ya kwanza sasa inaendelea na ardhi inayomilikiwa na Hospitali ya Mtakatifu Jo-seph. Ya pili inaendelea katika Shule ya Msingi ya Amherst St. na ya tatu itakuwa kwenye ardhi inayomilikiwa na Dartmouth Hitchcock wa Nashua. Anaita mpango huu "Kukuza Nashua".
DB: Inaonekana kwamba una upendo kwa bustani - hiyo imekuzwa vipi?
JM: Ninapenda tu vitu vyote tofauti ambavyo bustani "ni". Kuna hofu kwa nguvu ya mbegu ndogo na jinsi inaweza kukua kuwa mmea mkubwa ambao hutoa lishe kwa miili yetu. Babu na babu yangu na wazazi wangu kila wakati walikuwa na bustani ndogo kwenye uwanja ambao walikuwa wakiendelea na kwa hivyo nadhani imekuwa aina ya jambo la kawaida kufanya. Mara tu nilipokuwa na nyumba yangu mwenyewe na mke wangu na kweli nilianza kuifanya kwa kujifurahisha kuliko kitu kingine chochote na hadi leo bado ninaona ni burudani ya kupumzika.
DB: Ni nini kilikupa wazo la "Kukuza Nashua"?
JM: Tulifikiria juu ya jinsi mkimbizi anavyokuja hapa na kuishi katika nyumba na ana kazi ya chini ya mshahara
wamekwama kutokana na kikwazo cha lugha. Chemchemi iliyopita wakati tulipanda, tulifikiri soma zaidi ...
Redio ya WSMN
Ruka hadi dakika 38:00
Matangazo ya Runinga ya Mitaa
Justin Munroe wa Grow Nashua , atashirikiana na wanajamii wawili kubuni mada kamili na ya kufurahisha juu ya jinsi ya kupanga mtaala wa darasa ili kuongeza hamu ya wanafunzi na maarifa ya mifumo ya chakula ya hapa. Warsha ya bustani ya shule itafanyika mnamo Februari 20, 2017 kwa Wilaya ya Shule ya Nashua.
Mtaalam wa uwanja wa Ugani wa Ushirika wa UNH, Sarah Grosvenor, ndiye anayesimamia ujenzi wa mtaala wa waalimu Grosvenor anaelezea kuwa mtaala huo kwa jumla "utawasilisha habari ambayo inahusiana moja kwa moja na kile kilichojumuishwa katika mtaala wa Mifumo ya Chakula, pamoja na Viwango vya Sayansi ya Kizazi kijacho ambavyo ni kuzungukwa na masomo. ” Mtaala wa semina hiyo utaangazia kuwa "mfumo wetu wa chakula wa sasa hauwezekani kwa hivyo tunahitaji kushirikiana na kizazi kijacho juu ya jinsi ya kutatua shida kwa siku zijazo." Grosvenor ana shauku juu ya kuongeza elimu na ufahamu wa bustani endelevu na msukumo wake hususan unatokana na pengo la bei kati ya vyakula vya ndani na viwandani. Kabla ya kujiunga na timu ya Ugani wa Ushirika wa UNH, Grosvenor alikuwa mwalimu wa darasa la saba ambaye alifanikiwa kuingiza mifumo ya chakula ndani ya mtaala wake wa darasa. Kazi ya zamani ya Grosvenor ililenga jinsi "wanafunzi [wake] wengi hawakuweza kununua chakula kutoka kwa soko la mkulima, shamba hai au za mitaa, lakini hiyo ilipa [darasa] mjadala mzuri juu ya kwanini ni muhimu kwa kizazi kijacho kupata njia za kuifanya iwe nafuu na kutafuta njia za kusaidia kuifanya mifumo yetu ya chakula iwe endelevu zaidi. "
Warsha za bustani za shule ya Wilaya ya Nashua zitalenga kuwapa walimu mtaala unaoweza kubadilika kuelimisha wanafunzi wao juu ya faida za kununua na kukuza mazao ya hapa. Munroe na timu yake wanatarajia kuongeza ufahamu na ushiriki wa Wilaya ya Shule ya Nashua katika bustani za shule.
Telegraph ya Nashua
Wajitolea walifanya kazi haraka Ijumaa kwenye Shamba la Kufundisha Jamii la jiji, na kugeuza ardhi isiyotumika kuwa kitanda cha bustani chenye virutubisho vingi.
Watu kadhaa walifanya kazi pamoja kwenye wavuti hiyo, wakiwa na rakes, majembe na mikokoteni chini ya maagizo ya Justin Munroe, Mkurugenzi Mtendaji wa Grow Nashua.
Mali hiyo, iliyoko Ziwa Street, ilikopeshwa kwa Grow Nashua na Hospitali ya St.
Munroe, akili nyuma ya shamba, alianza Kukua Nashua anguko la mwisho kwa msaada wa Njia ya Umoja wa Greater Nashua. Maono yake ni kuleta familia za Nashua pamoja ili kuimarisha jamii yao, wakati akiwafundisha kulima na kuvuna mboga zao mpya.
Mpango huo unazingatia familia ambazo zinaweza kuwa hazina ardhi au rasilimali fedha kuwa na nafasi yao ya kilimo.
"Tunataka sana kuwapa watu nguvu," Munroe alisema. "Tunawapatia msingi wa kukuza kusoma kwao zaidi ...
Ofisi ya Shamba ya NH
Justin Munroe, Mkurugenzi Mtendaji wa shirika lisilo la faida mpya, Grow Nashua, alielezea dhamira yake ya "kuleta familia pamoja na lengo moja la kuimarisha jamii yao wakati wa kujifunza kulima na kuvuna mboga zao mpya."
Kikundi hicho kina shamba katika Hospitali ya Mtakatifu Joseph ambapo watu kutoka nchi 12 tofauti wameweza kufanya kazi kwenye "Shamba la Kujifunza" lililoandaliwa na wajitolea 80. Usajili wa njama ya bustani ulijazwa katika wiki mbili mwaka huu. Lengo ni kufundisha ujuzi wa kilimo kwa wale wasiowajua na kuwafundisha wakulima kutoka nchi zingine jinsi ya kulima katika hali ya hewa hii. Wahitimu kutoka kwa programu hiyo, ambayo ni pamoja na semina na mafunzo katika bustani, watakuwa na nafasi ya kufanya kazi kwenye shamba la uzalishaji (Grow Nashua yuko katika mchakato wa kutafuta ardhi) au kutengeneza nafasi yao ya kilimo. Kwa wakati wanapaswa kuwa na uwezo wa kuuza zao
bidhaa kupitia taasisi ambazo zinaiunga mkono
tayari - hospitali, shule, na taasisi zingine. Hii
mradi huo umekumbatiwa na jiji, hospitali, United Way na YMCA kati ya mashirika mengine.
Justin alisema kuwa anapenda kuona familia
bibi hutoka nje ya nyumba zao na kukutana katika
bustani, kwa sababu mada kuu inakua
jamii. Wakati wowote kuna mkutano au semina, Grow Nashua haraka kuajiri watafsiri wawili na pia tegemea watu kutafsiri kwa kila mmoja.