project connects youth to community gardening | News

ANDOVER — The area’s aspiring green thumbs have a chance this summer thanks to a new program.

Rachel Chase, co-owner of Paradise Catering and Bakery in Andover, decided to combine her love for small-scale local gardening and helping local children when she helped create the Paradise project. The project is a 12-week community gardening program involving 23 local youth.

“There’s nothing like it here,” she said, adding that the program is loosely inspired by several downtown projects. “It’s something we just put together because the kids love it here, they come every day.”

Ms. Chase, who is working on her master’s degree, needed to create a grant application for a course.

“We are such big fans of local sustainable agriculture,” Ms Chase said, adding that her company tries to source as much local produce as possible. With a large courtyard behind the store, the idea of ​​a community garden was quickly born.

The other part of the plan — keeping it for the kids — was a no-brainer, she said.

“My mum Pam (Easton) and I started this because of this area – there’s not much for the kids to do,” she said.

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