When Poughkeepsie Friend Meeting member Maureen Derasmo answered a recent email from the Pleasant Valley Library asking “Is there any interest in starting a community garden?”, she said Yes! The Pleasant Valley Community Garden, located at Helen Aldrich Park in Salt Point, came into being with a LOT of support. Many volunteers like Maureen came together to appoint officers, obtain liability insurance, a P.O. Box number an d a bank account. More volunteers stepped up to do the planting, maintenance and harvesting of the plants. Businesses donated barrels, plants and green energy.
Maureen became a dedicated volunteer interested in growing food, eager to work the soil and volunteer time to keep the garden healthy. You can often find her there in the garden. “I am so proud because I am doing ‘Quakerly’ work”, said Maureen.
By August 2023, this amazing group of volunteers and their love for gardening produced over 450 pounds of vegetables and other foods which were donated to the Pleasant Valley Food Pantry, at 92 Martin Road in Pleasant Valley, which services 60 local families, and is run by Steve Gesser.
As for Maureen, “If you are a gardener, you will end your [gardening] day, sweaty, dirty and very, very happy”, she laughs easily, “I am really happy to be part of the Pleasant Valley Community Garden!”