Every year, volunteers across Greater Hartford grow lots of fruit, vegetables and herbs at Jessie’s Community Gardens to help those in need. On Sunday, June 23, the public is invited to learn more about this initiative and pick up tips from a master gardener at a free information session and demonstration to be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at Buena Vista Community Garden, Cornerstone Drive in West Hartford.
“Jessie loved cooking with fresh vegetables and had empathy for those in need,” said Dane Kostin, who co-founded Jessie’s Community Gardens with his wife Michele to honor their daughter Jessica Lynn Kostin, who died unexpectedly in 2010. “She would appreciate the fact that Jessie’s Community Gardens serve multiple purposes: bringing diverse people together, feeding the hungry, and teaching about nutrition and caring for the Earth.”
The initiative is managed by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Hartford of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, with support from the Kostin family and others. Since 2011, 16 Jessie’s Community Gardens have been established in East Hartford, Hartford, Manchester, West Hartford and even San Francisco. They can be found at synagogues and churches, in public parks, and at preschools, youth centers and senior service agencies. The garden’s produce benefits many different people, including clients of Jewish Family Services’ Anja Rosenberg Kosher Food Pantry in West Hartford, Loaves and Fishes in Hartford, MACC in Manchester and Hockanum Valley Community.
CAP: Volunteers from Beth David Synagogue and the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle tend a Jessie’s Community Garden in West Hartford.