YCG SignCarrotsPlant SignsSunflowers Kids

About Yarmouth Community Garden

Mission Statement

The Yarmouth Community Garden’s mission is to create an organic garden for Yarmouth citizens that offers plots for renters; produces fresh vegetables and flowers for distribution to area residents and seniors in need; and provides a gardening experience that benefits all of Yarmouth through education, mentoring, and volunteer participation.


The Lay of the Land

The two-acre garden is on East Main Street at the entrance to the Frank Knight Forest, about a mile beyond Estabrook’s and just before the Transfer Station, on the left.

The garden has three primary areas: the Rental Plots, the Community Plot, and the Children's Garden, all supported by working beehives.YCG Layout plan

The Community Plot is planted and harvested by volunteers. In 2015, YCG distributed more than 4,143 pounds of fresh organic vegetables to local food pantries and seniors in need.  YCG is a major contributor to the Maine Harvest for Hunger program.

We offer 140 Rental Plots with excellent soil, a sunny location, a deer fence, and a convenient water supply — plus a unique opportunity to meet and learn from fellow gardeners.

The Children's Garden is a living playground made up of fruiting trees and vines, organic vegetables, and flowers. Everyone is welcome to explore the garden's features, which include a giant sunflower house, a cucumber tunnel, an ABC garden, and a farmstand. Children ages 4 through 10 can also participate in our Garden Explorers Camp.


General Information

Yarmouth Community Garden Cucumbers

Since it began in 2003, YCG has become one of the largest and most diverse Community Gardens in Maine and a valued resource for other communities seeking to start their own gardens.

YCG hosts various events throughout the season, and we celebrate the end of each season with the Harvest Dinner, a popular community event that includes a silent auction and raffle to raise funds for the next year's garden.

YCG also partners with avid gardeners in the area. We are happy to receive donations of vegetables and flowers to include in our weekly food-distribution program. We partner with the Meals on Wheels program to make and deliver flower bouquets to Meals on Wheels recipients.

As a non-profit, community-oriented organization, donations and volunteer contributions are essential to the continuation and improvement of YCG.  We receive many donations in the form of service, skills, materials, and money.  YCG greatly appreciates these donations which support the success of individual projects and contribute to the garden's success. 

The Town of Yarmouth continues to be an integral support for YCG in providing land and promoting the garden through Yarmouth Community Services and Yarmouth Public Works.

A volunteer Steering Committee leads the YCG project with the help of three coordinators who oversee the Community Plot, the Rental Plot, and the Children’s Garden programs.


Annual Highlights — 2015

  • 135 plots rented
  • 4,143 pounds distributed from the community plot.
  • First year of actually using the new irrigation system which made for much more even and efficient watering, and kept plants healthier
  • Installed new permanent fencing around the Community Plot and Children's Garden. Thanks to wonderful financial donation for this to the Yarmouth Rotary, as well as their volunteer efforts helping to get the fencing in place.
  • Added a small area at the back of the garden with strawberry plants, raspberry and blueberry bushes.
  • Awarded the Golden Trowel Award to Charlie Horstmann who had been on the founding board of YCG and had continued as an active member until his retirement from the Steering Committee in 2015.
  • We are so grateful to Karen Garafoli and staff at Yarmouth Community Services for their collaboration, and to Mike Darling and the staff at the Recycling Center for their assistance with picking up and composting our vegetable waste.

Download PDF versions of YCG's past annual reports:


History

2014

  • YCG completed building a permanent deer fence around the Renters” Garden and began installation of a similar fence around the Community Plot and the Children”s Garden, thanks to generous donations from Allagash Brewing.
  • Garden Explorers won 2nd place for their Miss Rumphius float in the Clam Festival Parade, and got rave reviews for their booth at the Yarmouth Farmer”s Market.
  • Thanks to Harvard Pilgrim/Maine Sunday Telegram Maine Local Food Grant, we were able to install a much needed irrigation system in the Community Plot and Children”s Garden. The new system was supplied by Environmental Solutions of Yarmouth.
  • 3,420 pounds of produce distributed from the community plot.

2013

  • YCG created the Golden Trowel award. The first recipient was Master Gardener and Steering Committee member, Norm Steele, who passed away in June 2013.
  • 4,090 pounds of produce distributed from the community plot.

2012

  • A generous Yarmouth gardener invited YCG to pick flowers from her gardens throughout the summer to distribute to Meals on Wheels recipients.
  • More than 3,000 pounds of produce distributed from the community plot.

2011

  • Volunteers built a garden house for the Children's Garden.
  • Over 4,200 pounds of produce distributed from the community plot.
  • YCG featured in Downeast Magazine article and Harvest for Hunger video
  • Another successful year renting plots and educating youngsters in the Garden Explorer program.

2010

  • 90 renters in 140 plots
  • 30 children participated in Garden Explorers program
  • 150 people receive our produce weekly
  • Over 5,000 pounds of produce distributed from the community plot

2009

  • 90 renters in 140 plots
  • New partnership with Morrison Development Center
  • 8th Annual Harvest Dinner and Silent Auction
  • 2,600 pounds of produce distributed

2008

  • 78 renters in 125 plots
  • 30 children participated in Garden Explorers program
  • Bee hives added to Community Garden
  • Stone wall built by a volunteer
  • 2,896 pounds of produce distributed

2007

  • 72 renters in 125 plots
  • Dedicated Children's Garden
  • Launched 8-week Garden Explorers program for kids ages 4–10
  • 1,446 pounds of produce distributed

2006

  • 53 renters in 98 plots
  • 1,643 pounds of produce harvested
  • A silent auction and raffle were introduced to the 4th Annual Harvest Dinner at First Parish Church. Close to 300 attended the dinner.

2005

  • Expanded to 60 renters in 120 plots
  • Pavilion structure erected by an Eagle Scout along with garden shed for tool storage
  • Partnered with Cumberland Country Plant a Row program
  • 989 pounds of produce distributed
  • 3rd Annual Harvest Dinner at First Praish Church

2004

  • Added 50 rental plots
  • Expanded Community Plot

2003

  • Community garden concept approved by Yarmouth Town Council
  • 15 volunteers started Community Plot