NEWINGTON – Apartment living can be stuffy, especially during the era of covid-19, which is all the more reason to get outdoors and till some soil.
Behind the old farmhouse at 282 Church St. is a sprawling meadow and in the summertime, Newington’s Community Gardens. From any given sunny morning to the twilight of dusk, people who don’t have backyards to cultivate at home are here, working in their plots.
Families of all shapes and sizes can be found sowing seeds into the ground, watering sprouts and picking ripe tomatoes from the vine. Growing tips are exchanged among neighbors filling watering cans and fixing fence. Their chatter tangles with bird melodies and the blowing breeze.
Registration for returning gardeners is now open for the 2021 season, up until March 26. New gardener-hopefuls can register for a plot on a first-come, first-served basis beginning April 1.
“Gardening is one of the activities you can do safely during the time of corona-19,” Newington Parks and Recreation Superintendent Bill DeMaio said. “As far as protocols go, as long as you wear a mask you can get outside and recreate, plant, weed, cultivate fruit and vegetables and meet friends.”
Newington’s Community Gardens are home to 110 garden plots measuring 20’ x 20’ each. They will be roto-tilled and marked by Parks staff around Memorial Day weekend, dependent on this spring’s soil and weather conditions.
The fee to reserve a plot is $35. People can register in the Parks and Recreation office Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at 860-665-8666.
“It just makes good sense to garden this year,” DeMaio said. “For all those people living in apartments or condos that can’t get out, this is the perfect opportunity.”
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.