By ANNAROSE RUSSO
Hidden in plain sight, the Larchmont Reservoir-James G. Johnson, Jr. Conservancy spreads its 60 acres across the boundaries of Mamaroneck and New Rochelle.
In addition to numerous trails, an observation deck, Goodliffe Pond and Sheldrake lake—once the water supply for the Village of Larchmont—the Sheldrake Environmental Center and Sheldrake Community Vegetable Garden have helped to create a learning annex for children and adults alike.
The community garden is now asking local gardeners for help.
The Sheldrake Community Vegetable Garden was established in 1987 by the Westchester Men’s Garden Club who responded to a national initiative to help the homeless and hungry. By growing vegetables for food pantries today, Sheldrake still honors this original initiative.
The community garden is currently seeking volunteers to assist in the growing and distributing of vegetables which begins on April 5 and continues through the growing season, which ends in September. Volunteers work as a group on the weekends and on their own during the week.
Volunteers of all ages and gardening skill-level are welcome to work at the garden.
“Experienced gardeners are welcome to work on their own schedules. Those who need supervision or instruction should work with the group. Both levels of gardeners weed, water, fertilize, plant, harvest and deliver,” Janet Beal, a volunteer coordinator at the Sheldrake Environmental Center since 1988, said.
Beal also advises that while children are welcome, parent supervision is required.
The maintaining of the garden requires attention from Sheldrake staff and volunteers. Each season, Beal said, approximately 8 to 12 volunteers spend time at the garden during the growing season. These volunteers have helped “several thousand [people] over 27 years.”
According to Beal, “the mission of the garden is to bring fresh produce grown by neighbors to residents with limited access to fresh seasonal foods.”
And over the last 35 summers, the garden has done just that, growing between 250 and 350 pounds of vegetables annually.
The vegetables and herbs in the garden are grown for distribution to the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Emergency Food Pantry as well as some community residences.
The center is located at 687 Weaver St. in Larchmont. If interested in volunteering at the Community Vegetable Garden, contact the Sheldrake Environmental Center at 914-834-1443.