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Hope House’s Giving Hope Garden Earns MOFGA Blue Ribbons

PCHC’s Hope House Health & Living Center “Giving Hope Garden” brought home nine 1st place blue ribbons and one 2nd place ribbon for various vegetables entered at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) competition at the Common Ground Fair the weekend of September 24-25th. Peppers, pumpkin, beans, carrots, garlic, and a few varieties of onion and squash were submitted to the competition.

The Giving Hope Garden is a 14 raised-bed organic garden located behind the Hope House. Shelter and Transitional Housing guests work in the garden May – October to help supplement the 1000+ meals that are served each week throughout the year. The garden produces over 1,500 lbs. of food that is used in the Hope House Shelter kitchen and shared with local food pantries.

Pat Bears, Hope House Volunteer, states, “The Hope Garden entries were among hundreds of beautiful veggies grown by some very experienced home and community gardeners and knowledgeable organic farmers. It’s quite a compliment that the Giving Hope Garden came home with so many ribbons their first year entering!”

Ann Giggey, Hope House Director, states, “This is our 6th year hosting a community garden and we are so very appreciative and proud of our guests, staff, and volunteers for their great work. The vegetables they grow benefit so many and allow kitchen staff to serve a variety of healthy meals for our guests.”

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For the last 2 years, the Orono Gardening and Cooking Club, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners Program, Hope House Staff, AmeriCorps members, and community volunteers, especially Pat Bears, have supported this garden with all the seeds, seedlings, supplies and assistance needed. This year, the Bangor Seniors Center donated an irrigation system to help make it more sustainable for the future.

The Hope House extends its appreciation for the collaboration and donations received from the community and from members of the Hope House Shelter and Transitions Programs. To learn how you may get involved in supporting Hope House’s Giving Hope Garden, please contact Ann Giggey, Hope House Director, or Bruce Hews, Hope House Campus Manager, at 207-217-6713.

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