[Ed note: My Southborough accepts signed letters to the editor submitted by Southborough residents. Letters may be emailed to email@example.com.]
To the Editor:
We are all struggling in one way or another to deal with the pandemic. However, there are some positive things that have happened in response to the pandemic. This is a Southborough story that hopefully can put a smile on some faces and be used as a model for other available open land in Southborough.
The Pine Hill Road neighborhood in Southborough controls an open space piece of land thru an I.R.C. 501(C)(3) organization called The Pine Hill Meadow Trust, Inc. The land is maintained by the Trust and is about 26 acres.
Al Hamilton and his wife Diana Wainrib (two of my neighbors) realized that the pandemic has increased food insecurity for many. Historically, our neighborhood has planted wildflowers on our open land. Al and Diana proposed to our organization that we use part of the land to grow healthy food for a Worcester based organization called Rachel’s table. The mission of Rachel’s Table is to distribute donated and specially purchased foods to agencies feeding hungry families and individuals in the greater Worcester area. Their milk fund also purchases milk for needy children.
Roll forward to now. As of today, our neighborhood land has produced and delivered 1643 pounds of produce including corn, beans, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, potatoes, and butternut squash. Diana and Al coordinated the program and spent tons of hours working in the garden. We had many enemies to fight off including coyotes who it turns out like more than meat. Al caught one coyote red handed on camera with a corn cob in its mouth.
We were still able to plant the wildflowers in the front part of the garden that fronts Pine Hill Road so that walkers can still enjoy the pretty flowers as they walk. And they can see their neighbors working in the back part of the garden.
I believe that our neighborhood’s care of this land is an excellent model for many other open spaces in Southborough – especially those attached to a neighborhood. My neighbors maintain and care for our land in a manner that Southborough does not have the resources and time for. It is a win win for all. I hope other neighborhoods that have open land will consider similar programs.
[Editor’s Note: Kathy followed up with contributed photos below. (Click to enlarge.) She wrote:
I set up a game camera and found out our corn thieves were not a single animal but 2:
Later a deer came buy to snack on the remnants
(I edited the contrast on her 2nd photo to make it easier to see.)]