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‘Rosie Garden’ honors Roberta Swan

  • “The Rosie Garden,” located at the corner of Lumber and Canal streets, is monitored by members of the Agricultural Commission. Athol Daily News/Kathy Chaisson

  • A modest sign announces The Rosie Garden, a community garden at the corner of Canal and Lumber streets in Athol. Athol Daily News/Kathy Chaisson

Staff Writer
Published: 7/10/2019 9:45:13 PM
Modified: 7/10/2019 9:45:05 PM

ATHOL — Tucked away a short walk from Main Street at the corner of Lumber and Canal Streets is “The Rosie Garden,” a community garden established in memory of Roberta Swan on property hosted by her son and daughter-in-law, Chuck and Celia Baxter. Local businesses sponsoring the row of eight raised garden beds include Gelinas Lawn Care, Hearth and Hedge, Sunny Flower Farm, The Blind Pig, S&S Appliance, Earth’s Roots and Kessler Investments.

At the Athol Agricultural Commission meeting Monday, member Aimee Hanson reported that the beds at the Community Garden are in good shape. Hanson, along with Laurie Parker and Ranee LaPointe, helped build the garden about seven years ago. She suggested a schedule be established for those using the garden to weed whack between the beds. Commission members Mary Holtorf and Kim Fitzgerald agreed that more manpower is needed for maintenance. Holtorf raised the possibility of adding signage, paid for by available Agricultural Commission funds.

Hanson said if anyone is interested in participating in the Community Garden next year to apply through the Town of Athol website by early May.

Fitzgerald said she would also like to see a community healing garden with a meditation labyrinth and medicinal plants.

In other business, Holtorf said the Athol Farmer’s Market set up Saturdays on the front lawn of the Millers River Environmental Center at 100 Main St. is on hiatus for the month of July and that the market this year had an “okay” start but things have since slowed down, partly because some of the food is not yet in season for local vendors. Holtorf said she will keep in touch with vendors and will advertise if they’re going to return in August.

The commission is also seeking new members. More information can be found on Facebook under the Athol Agricultural Commission.

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