The Litchfield Community Garden is sited on LLT’s Graham Thompson Preserve and is a joint effort between LLT and the Litchfield Community Center.
It boasts of garden plots, a tool shed, a pavilion, an adjacent field with a grassy trail which leads to a scenic viewing platform.
To learn more or reserve a plot, please contact the Litchfield Community Center at 860-567-8302 or email [email protected].
Historical Timeline of the Community Garden
Small Group “grassroots effort” initiated to establish a Community Garden in Litchfield led by Berta Andrulis Mette, John Acerbi, Clifford Cooper and Sarah Loring
First public informational meeting held at Litchfield Community Center
Litchfield Land Trust agrees to offer land on the Graham Thompson Land Preserve (intersection of Brush Hill Road & Route 202 on former Hassig Farm) for Garden. A Community Garden Committee formed with Litchfield Land Trust Members Herb Schettler, Michael Italiaander, Margy Minor, Berta Andrulis Mette, Executive Director of Litchfield Community Center and Community members: John Acerbi and Josh Litwin
With a wonderful collaborative effort of many volunteers, the Litchfield Land Trust and Litchfield Community Center, as well as a founding grant of $10,000.00 made in memory of Michael Italiaander’s Mother, the Litchfield Community Garden is established. The land was tilled, fencing was installed, a parking area was created and a water line installed. 24 10 x 20 plots were made available and the Garden opened in May 2009. Applications were submitted and plots were filled with each gardener paying $15 for the season
The Litchfield Land Trust grants a five year renewable Agricultural Lease to the Litchfield Community Center to oversee and maintain the Community Garden. Community Garden placed on tour of local gardens organized by Litchfield Community Center’s staff and LCC’s 10-year anniversary committee.
Richard Crane earned his Eagle Scout badge by designing and building benches and a bulletin board for the Community Garden.
8 additional plots were added to bring total to 32. Geoffrey Houser earned his Eagle Scout badge by designing and constructing a Garden Shed with the assistance of local contractor and carpenter, John Cappello. Material for project paid for with gardener’s season plot fees. Garden earns recognition accolades from Litchfield Garden Club.
Season begins with a series of workshops presented by Community Garden member and Master Gardener, Ellen Eberle (held at the Community Center). Plot fee raised to $20. 32 plots being tended this season. The shed is painted barn red by volunteer Rob Andrulis – honoring the farming heritage and history of the land. Potluck dinners are established and scheduled by Pam & Jeff Corning. Two new picnic tables purchased to compliment the evenings!
Great season of vegetable and flower gardens for 43 total gardeners on 32 plots! The addition of a “younger generation” to the Garden has affirmed the importance of this experience for future generations! Young couples that garden together, bloom together!
Gardener James Sutton starts a new season with securing a donation of bulbs and seeds from John Scheepers Co. in Bantam to grow flowers. The flowers were picked and bouquets made for senior neighbors in our community living independently or at Brandywine.
The waterline is extended into the garden and spigot attached allowing for easier hose hookup and happier gardeners! Potluck dinners have become a delightful opportunity for the gardeners to get to know each other with the sharing of a dish, good company and lots of laughter “on the hill” as the sun sets.
Community Garden begins 10th season! Marsh Hawk Meadow Trail established by LLT with grant from Seherr-Thoss Foundation. This trail provides a serene walking experience on the Graham Thompson Preserve and brings one to a viewing platform to further enjoy the natural wonders of this property
Season started off with a Seherr-Thoss Foundation grant which provided funds for the addition of plots with fencing, repairs to the driveway and additional water line. The addition of a pavilion for shade and protection from foul weather was built by Eagle Scout Blaise Perusse and his fellow scouts and adult leaders of Troop 39. Pam & Jeff Corning established a “Community Garden Permaculture Plot” as both an experimental & community educational project. We now have 40 plots serving the Community!
This year brought the introduction of a Porta-John to accommodate the gardeners and users of the Marsh Hawk Meadow Trail. The trail now extends to the beaver pond below the platform. The first phase of a pollinator garden is established on the preserve. With the worldwide COVID pandemic impacting so many lives, there is an even greater appreciation of the Community Garden and the significance it has to its members. This space and place provides a sanctuary to all with fresh air and fresh produce to nourish the body and soul. The faith and certainty of sowing, nurturing, and harvesting gives many great solace from the worries of life during difficult days.
New gardeners bring new energy and ideas and we welcomed a few this season. The addition of several new bird nesting boxes (donated by Peter Litwin) delighted the many varieties of birds on the hill and for all those who witnessed them making home there. Preparation for a second Pollinator garden has begun and plantings will be in place come Spring of 2022. The Community Garden and Graham Thompson Preserve continues to nurture all creatures great and small!