Let me start by saying, I hope everyone had a great Easter. Mine was made more fun when I attended the great Somersworth Recreation Easter Egg Hunt. This hunt has become something of a tradition for me as well as many Somersworth families and I was glad to see it return this year.
I was even more excited to see it had a new location: Jules Bisson Park. For those who do not know, Jules Bisson Park is located on River Street in the city and has recently undergone some great improvements including a gazebo and new playground apparatus. There are also plans this year to improve the ballfield there as well as the basketball court.
Anyway back to the Easter Egg Hunt, which was very well attended as always, but this year it seemed to both me and Somersworth Recreation Director Kristen Davenport, the attendance was much improved. The eggs were laid out on the ground, all 1500 of them and it took all of about three seconds for them all to be found and scooped up into baskets, bags and anything else that could hold the plastic goodies.
So now that Easter is officially over for many, our thoughts turn to spring and that means gardens! In this case I am talking about community gardens and in case you were not aware the Somersworth community gardens can be found at Malley Farm. Founded in 2004, the gardens recently underwent a large expansion as well as a much needed makeover, thanks to a grant that was awarded to them from Home Depot.
If you have been to the Malley Farm leaf, brush and compost facility, which by the way is now open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., you may have seen all the work that has already been completed. The grant from Home Depot was for $6,200 and has allowed the gardens to be expanded by another 28 plots, bringing the total to 56 plots. While Somersworth Public Works carried out most of the leveling and groundwork for the expansion, they were helped on April 20 and April 21 by employees of both the Rochester and Somersworth branches of Home Depot who helped build raised beds for the gardens, supplied the fence that surrounds the gardens and generally cleaned up the area.
One of the things that most excited the gardeners that currently cultivate a plot, of which I am one, was a shed. According to Somersworth Home Depot Store Manager Amy Lau, the shed was returned to the store by a customer but is no longer sold by the company. As a result, Corporate requested that the shed be donated to the community gardens as part of the project, but would not be counted as part of the grant monies. The shed was assembled on a concrete slab which was laid by SPW and assembled by Home Depot staff as part of their two days of volunteering. The shed will hold a variety of tools and implements that were also part of the grant.
In case you are wondering, there are still several plots available to any Somersworth resident who may be interested in gardening. There is no cost to garden a plot for the 2022 season and if you are interested in taking one, call public works at 603-692-4266 and they will be happy to send along an application packet. You can also find details here: https://www.somersworth.com/public-works/pages/malley-farm
New and returning gardeners were also given a great little bucket from Home Depot that contained seeds, hand tools and gloves. I for one am excited to get my hands dirty once more this season and would like to thank Home Depot for the grant and the days of hard work spent at the community garden by your hard-working employees. Please know it does make a difference!
Now that spring is officially here, it means the start of the roadwork season in the city. Please keep an eye out for notifications from the city regarding any road closures this spring which will include work to be completed along Cemetery Road in the very near future.
Save the date
May 14: The Somersworth Festival Association will hold its spring craft fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Somersworth High School on Memorial Drive. It’s the perfect way to get a head start on those special Mothers Day gifts.
May 24: The Boston Bruins and Mass General Brigham are sponsoring a one-day free street hockey clinic. The clinic is for kids ages 5 to 12 and will be held at Jules Bisson Park basketball court from 5 to 6 p.m. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. First come, first served. Contact the Rec office with any questions, 603-692-9508.
That’s all I have for this week but I’ll be back in a couple of weeks. As always please remember to be kind to others as you never truly know what someone else is going through.
Jenne Holmes is from England and has lived for years in Somersworth. Her passion for history and her love of writing led her to the Summersworth Historical Museum, where she is now a director. She can be reached at SomersworthNow@gmail.com.
This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Simply Somersworth: Home Depot improves Somersworth NH community garden