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ENFIELD, Conn. — Common Grounds, located on property behind the Enfield Senior Center, was created in 2006 by the Enfield Rotary Club, with support from local businesses and the University of Connecticut’s master gardener program. The garden was donated to the town, and a board of directors established in 2007 has been responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the one-acre plot.

Now, 14 years later, thousands of pounds of food have been harvested and donated to local food-relief agencies. Pat Bleakney is the one remaining board member after one additional board member who led the group passed away in February from COVID-19. A volunteer since the group’s inception, Bleakney says she needs help in order to keep the garden alive. Volunteers have been the lifeblood of this effort.

The group needs donations of plants, along with individuals who are willing to give their time to planting, weeding, maintaining, and harvesting the crop. The group also needs community members willing to pick up the harvest at the garden and deliver to local agencies.

“We historically have picked on Tuesday nights, and the harvest has been delivered on Wednesday,” Bleakney explained. “It takes a couple of hours to pick. Most of the garden is black mat, so weeding is minimal, but it would be nice to have help. The biggest need is help kicking off the year by getting plant donations and gathering volunteers to help get the plants in the ground. We normally plant the first week of June but need to get requests into growers now.”

Those wishing to help or learn more can e-mail Bleakney at [email protected].

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