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Church Breaks Ground for New Garden at Senior Center

Garden to benefit the Tolland community.

The ’s Community Garden is the newest addition to the grounds of the town of . A groundbreaking ceremony took place late Sunday morning, with members of the church and the senior center on hand to witness this “dream come true.”

For years the senior center has wanted to implement a gardening program for its seniors, “but we couldn’t get it off the ground,” said the center’s director, Fran Weigand. But when Reverend Judy Mederios of the United Congregational Church came to her requesting garden space on the center’s grounds, it was a win-win combination for all involved. Not only would church members and senior citizens work in the garden, the first harvest of each crop will be used for the center’s Wednesday lunches as well as the local food pantry.

“It’s called the First Harvest Community Garden,” explained Mederios. “Tolland Senior Center gave us the land and provided the water, and we provide the people, the know how and the volunteers.”

Mederios added, “Seniors can come out and learn, if they are interested. The whole thing is upkept by the church, but the outcome will be shared with the community.”

Co-chairs of the Gardening Committee, Linda Suess and John Frassinelli, were on hand for the groundbreaking, with Frassinelli offering instruction on how deep to plant the first seeds in the fresh, new soil, which was donated by the town as well as a congregation member who provided yak manure.

Eddie Fuller, well known at the senior center for his “miraculous” gardening skills, attended the event, offering flats of tomatoes.

“I think it’s fabulous,” noted Elderly Outreach caseworker Becky Ellert. “I love fresh stuff, and I love how God created all of this to eat.”

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