April 11, 7pm at the Manchester Community Center

Guests are welcome, $5 fee.  Renew your membership early for the 2017-2018 season, and new members are encouraged to join by April 30 and save $5.
Membership before April 30 is $25, after May 1, $30.

Backyard Gardeners bios

Lara Lepionka

Founder and Executive Director, Backyard Growers

During the 2008 recession Lara Lepionka and her family tore out their postage stamp lawn and started an intensive urban micro-farm, feeding their family of four and creating a model for urban farming in Gloucester, MA. Having caught the gardening bug, Lara founded Backyard Growers in 2010 with a $6,000 budget, helping a handful of families in her neighborhood start their own vegetable gardens. Her ultimate goal: creating life-long gardeners inspired by the power of growing one’s own food.

She has developed Backyard Growers into a grassroots non-profit organization with an annual budget of over $250,000. Backyard Growers provides resources and support to establish vegetable gardens at homes, housing communities, non-profit organizations, and public schools, and offers accompanying programs and initiatives that promote a love of fresh, local produce. Prior to her role as Executive Director of Backyard Growers, Lara has worked for the past twenty years in the non-profit sector focusing on education, the arts and food justice issues.

Backyard Growers

Backyard Growers (BYG) is a grassroots organization helping to reshape Gloucester’s relationship with food. We provide resources and support to establish vegetable gardens and accompanying programming at homes, housing communities, organizations, and schools. In the end we create life-long gardeners inspired by the power of growing one’s own food. Our mission has remained consistent since our inception, with new mission-driven programs and initiatives added each year to continue reaching a broader swath of our community over time.

Urban farmer Lara Lepionka founded Backyard Growers in 2010 as a way to help her neighbors stretch their budgets by growing their own food.  Since those first gardens were built, Backyard Growers has grown exponentially to include a suite of programs serving a broad segment of Gloucester’s low- to moderate-income residents with a focus on serving children and their families. From a school garden program operating district-wide to bring over 1,500 students Pre-K through high school out to their school gardens each year, to evening cooking classes for new gardeners, Backyard Growers aims to make access to gardening and fresh, healthy food an easy option for Gloucester residents.

Sent: Friday, March 10, 2017 6:00 AM
Subject: Announcing the 2017 Gardening Symposium


  2017 MMGA Massachusetts

Gardening Symposium

March 10, 2017
Dear Lucia,
Thanks to learning-hungry gardeners like you, our 2016 Symposium was a resounding success, exceeding the MMGA’s goals for both attendance and positive participant feedback. We are now hard at work to make this year’s Symposium even better and are pleased to announce that registration is now open. Click here to register.

It’s not too soon to sign up: Early Bird pricing is in effect thru August 6; and, in order to ensure a positive experience for everyone, we are once again capping the number of attendees.

The 2017 Massachusetts Gardening Symposium
“Inspiration for Next Year’s Garden”
Saturday, September 23 – Westford, MA
Announcing our four award-winning speakers

Two of our speakers (David Culp and Kathleen Gagan) will be focusing on plant selection. David is an author and VP of Sunny Border Nurseries; Kathleen is the owner of Peony’s Envy, purveyor of amazing plants. Speakers Janet Macunovich and Thomas Rainer will focus on best practices and new concepts in landscape design. Janet’s topic is “The Art of Fall Garden Clean Up.” Thomas is a landscape architect, teacher, author and environmental advocate; he was recently tapped by the International Master Gardener Association to speak at their summer conference.

For more 2017 Massachusetts Gardening Symposium details, Click here to read or download our brochure.

P.S. If you belong to a garden club, plant society or other gardening organization, please forward this email to your fellow members and remind folks who are also Master Gardeners that the Symposium has been approved for 4 hours of Continuing Education credit toward their 2017 requirements for active status. Just click the green “Forward” button below.


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Massachusetts Master Gardener Association, P.O.Box 1369, Framingham, MA 01701

Backyard Gardeners: Seed Starting & Swap at Library

Join local gardening non-profit Backyard Growers on March 29th, 6:30 PM at the Manchester Public Library for an evening of spring seed starting.  Learn about starting seeds indoors, keeping your sprouts healthy, and what supplies you need to get started. Entrance is FREE- sign up at Manchester-by-the-Sea Public Library, 978-526-7711 or scollins@manchesterpl.org.

Bring seeds, if you have saved some, to swap with neighbors at the end. We’ll also have some available for any who attend so everyone will leave with a few to start. Do sign up, spread the word, and hope to see you here. Let’s get GROWING!
Sara Collins, Library Director


Due to the impending snow storm, the Container Workshop has been rescheduled to next Tuesday, March 21st at Chapman’s Greenhouse in Beverly Farms.
Please respond (to Kate only) and confirm if you can attend the workshop on the new date.
For those who cannot make the new date and have already paid, you will be reimbursed.

Gloucester Tulip Festival May 6, 2017
Gloucester Garden Tour July 8, 2017
View this email in your browser
Dear Garden Tour Enthusiast,

Save the date for two special events hosted by Generous Gardeners in Gloucester!

Last fall Generous Gardeners planted 22,400 tulips in our newest beds surrounding the Fishermen’s Wives memorial and we invite you to welcome spring with an official ribbon cutting and public promenade on May 6, 2016. The Promenade and Ribbon Cutting are free and open to the public. Prizes will be awarded for best costume based on elegance, creativity and floral inspiration.  That evening join us for a fundraiser Tulip Festival party at Mile Marker Restaurant featuring appetizers, cash bar and the Honkytonk Women’s Band starting at 6 PM ($20/ticket).  More information is available at www.GenerousGardeners.org

July 8, 2017 is the date for the Gloucester Garden Tour organized by Generous Gardeners.  At the dawn of the twentieth century, Magnolia was well known as a vacation destination with a casino and grand hotels.  Exclusive stores like Tiffany’s and magnificent mansions lined Lexington Avenue and Shore Road.  Join us on a walk down memory lane for the Fifth Generous Gardener’s Garden Tour in the quiet seaside village of Magnolia.  Stroll along Shore Road viewing over a dozen private gardens, many with glorious ocean views.  This tour showcases a variety of cottage gardens, rose gardens, estate gardens and also includes an amazing Olmsted garden.  It is predominantly a walking tour (1.6 miles) with a few gardens a short drive from downtown Magnolia.

Tickets may be purchased on the day of the tour, in advance online at www.GloucesterGardenTour.org or by mailing a check to Generous Gardeners, P.O. Box 1532, Gloucester, MA 01931.  Rain or Shire.  Please no pets.

For Questions, contact Susan Kelly at susan@generousgardeners.org or 781-346-1363.

Think Spring!

Susan Kelly
Generous Gardeners

I came across these ads for lent, I hope you get a laugh too.

Charlotte was Both

(Update – found a couple more good ones, here.)

What to cook for those Lenten meals? Such a dilemma!

Me, I always have dreams of various interesting vegetable-based stews and soups, but you know what it always ends up being?

Cheese pizza. Lots and lots of cheese pizza. With maybe some pancakes and eggs tossed in there for variety.

For some reason, I went on a bit of a rabbit trail last night..I have no idea how I happened to think that there might be a treasure trove of Lenten-themed vintage food advertisements out there…but there is. It’s at an advertising design archive website, and, yes, there is a “Lent” keyword, although several of the ads in that category are Valentine-themed, but who knows.

But then I thought, Wait. The Era of Regrettable Food was also pre-Vatican II…when Catholics abstained from meat every Friday anyway…what were the Lenten regulations…

View original post 244 more words

Here’s an opportunity to practice both your passions:

National Garden Clubs Photography Competition

National Garden Club photo contest

Great quote:

“Look deeper into Nature and you will understand everything”

Albert Einstein

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