The Incubator Garden is an exciting partnership with New Haven Farms supported by the Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation that currently has 32 families participating! These families are all graduates of New Haven Farms' health and wellness program, a program prescribed by Fair Haven Community Health Clinic as a way to help battle diabetes and obesity.
After 16 weekly meetings, the graduates of the health and wellness program have learned about nutrition, healthy cooking techniques, and the ground rules of gardening. But what do these graduates do next with this knowledge? That's where the Incubator Garden steps in.
By the corner of English and Ferry lies two properties, one a New Haven Land Trust Community Garden and the other a New Haven Farms Farm, that have been merged. The fence that stood between them has been opened, and at their intersection lies the Incubator Garden.
At this location, the graduates have proved themselves bona fide gardeners. For the past two years, they have been able to apply what they learned in their health and wellness program and grow vast amounts of fresh and nutritious produce, everything from tomatoes and carrots to eggplants and collard greens. The gardeners have also been able to share all that they have learned with their families, friends, and neighbors, resulting in a healthier, more food-secure community.
The benefits of gardening extend beyond the bounty of food as well. The garden has helped to build a strong community where residents and gardeners in the area have taken ownership of this special place, and the spiritual connection that gardeners have reported feeling while in the garden serves as an inspiration and a respite from stressful days.
New Haven Farms' Farm Manager, Jacqueline Maisonpierre, and our Garden Manager, Emily Sloss, have been able to install 32 raised garden beds thanks to grant support and your donations to the New Haven Land Trust! They have also been offering their services as knowledgeable resources to the gardeners on a weekly basis, giving them tips and advice with any questions they have.
We hope that the successes that have taken place in the Incubator Garden inspire you as much as it has inspired us here at the New Haven Land Trust as we continue this wonderful collaboration with New Haven Farms! Thank you to the Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation for their generous support of this meaningful place of learning, health, and community!