June 01, 2020
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Belfast Garden Club donates gardening books to Waldo County Reentry Center

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Photo courtesy of Martha Laitin Donna Busch of the Belfast Garden Club presents gardening books for the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center’s Garden Project to Bill Browning, community resource coordinator.

BELFAST — Belfast Garden Club members showed support for the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center’s Garden Program by donating instructive books to the Reentry Center’s library on growing vegetables and preparing nutritious meals after harvesting the bountiful food.  Club members gave books from their personal collections and purchased new books for the project.  The books will be available to residents at the Reentry Center’s library in Belfast to assist them in learning gardening techniques for northern climate gardens, general good gardening principles and using the produce in the kitchen to make healthy meals.

A description of the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center’s Garden Program, designed to provide training and skills to clients at the center who are returning to their home communities from the Maine correctional system, was presented to those attending a recent meeting of the Belfast Garden Club, prompting the book donation.  Now in its third year, the Garden Program benefits all the food cupboards and soup kitchens in Waldo County.  During the past two summers it has produced thousands of pounds of vegetables and shared produce with more than three dozen programs that provide food to those in need.  Reentry Center residents do much of the work in the three-acre vegetable garden and that work allows them to provide food for meals prepared at the Center as well as give back to the community in a significant manner.

Partners in the gardening program that benefit from the food harvested weekly by the clients at the Reentry Center are more than 20 soup kitchens and food pantries including Belfast Soup Kitchen, Senior Spectrum-Meals on Wheels and University of  Maine Extension-Maine Harvest for Hunger.

For information about joining the garden club, go to belfastgardenclub.org.