Meet our community gardeners series – Jenny

🥕Name: Jenny Smith
🥕Plot#: 19
🥕Where are you from? We have just returned to Attleboro, MA after living in the Boston area for the last 12+ years.
🥕How long have you been gardening at ACG? This is our first year at the ACG and we are so thrilled to be a part of this vibrant community!
🥕What are your favorite things to grow? I love to grow just about anything! At home, I enjoy working in my shade garden and have recently started a small rose garden. At the ACG, we are looking forward to garden fresh tomatoes (the best!), green beans for pickling and lots of herbs!
🥕What is your favorite thing about the community garden? After moving to Attleboro in July of 2018, we discovered the ACG while going for walks in the neighborhood. It quickly became our favorite destination and we loved watching the progress, smelling the flowers and meeting lots of friendly people! I think the garden provides a beautiful place in our city for neighbors to meet one another and connect over a shared love of growing good things to eat and beautiful flowers to enjoy! 

Meet our community gardeners series – Danielle

🥕Name: Danielle Cournoyer
🥕Plot#: 54
🥕Where are you from? Attleboro
🥕How long have you been gardening at ACG? 3 years
🥕What are your favorite things to grow? Tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and edible flowers
🥕What is your favorite thing about the community garden? I love having a communal place to share my passion for gardening. Having the opportunity to teach, share my garden knowledge and also help support and organize the community garden brings me such joy! I think gardening is so important not only for our mental and physical health, but also because it provides a small form of food access and sustainability. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to help my community is this small but powerful way.

Meet our community gardeners series – Christin

Name: Christin
🥕Plot#: 8
🥕Where are you from? Worcester, MA
🥕How long have you been gardening at ACG? This is my second year
🥕What are your favorite things to grow? My favorite thing we grew last year were lots of herbs
🥕What is your favorite thing about the community garden? Being able to eat things that I grew is so satisfying, and the ACG is super supportive if I need help or have questions about anything!

Meet our community gardeners series – Jessica Brien

🥕Name: Jessica Brien

🥕Plot#: 49
🥕Where are you from? Attleboro

🥕How long have you been gardening at ACG? About 7 years all together. I took a break for a couple of years when my son was born but came back when the plots were redone
🥕What are your favorite things to grow? Cucumber, tomato, carrots, garlic, lettuce, radish
🥕What is your favorite thing about the community garden? Meeting new people and growing my own fresh food. I love the taste of the fresh food. I also enjoy talking with others gardeners and sharing tips for growing things

Meet our Community Gardeners Series – Juliet Teixeira

Our first “Get to know our community gardeners” post is for our Garden Coordinator, Juliet. Juliet is pictured with State Rep. Jim Hawkins during last year’s 20th Anniversary Celebration.

🥕Name: Juliet Teixeira
🥕Plot#: 21
🥕Where are you from? Originally from Boston. I am of Cape Verdean and Jewish heritage.
🥕How long have you been gardening at ACG? Since 2012
🥕What are your favorite things to grow? I have become an expert in growing garlic. I also like growing tomatoes as there is nothing as good as eating a fresh tomato.
🥕What is your favorite thing about the community garden? I love meeting our gardeners. I also love to see what people are growing. I have learned tips and tricks from other gardeners.

Sensata Team Makes a Difference at Richardson Preserve

A team of Sensata employees returned to the Richardson Preserve on May 23 to install 270 linear feet of split-rail fencing.  This completes a boundary fencing project begun by the same team last year.

The Attleboro Land Trust appreciates the hard work of Sensata employees Tom Simbron, Tyler Hanna, and Harshad Tadas in completing our fencing project and the commitment of
the Sensata Corporation in making projects like this possible.    Image credit: C. Adler

Sensata employees completed the final phase of a boundary fencing project on May 23.    Image credit: C. Adler

The Attleboro Conservation Commission provided funds to purchase the materials for this project.  Generous support was also received from National Fence of Attleboro and Liston Portables.

Seasonal Changes Bring Colorful Displays to the Richardson Preserve

Each week brings changes to the Richardson Preserve, some from native plants that are flowering, others from plants cultivated by Deborah Richardson when she lived and practiced her horticultural skills here.


The Glen at the Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve, April 25, 2019    Image credit: C. Adler


Pink Azalea bordering The Glen at the Richardson Preserve    Image credit: C. Adler


Skeletal tracery is all that remains from a clump of grass that ornamented Deborah’s Garden last fall.    Image credit: C. Adler


Ornamental grass in foreground at Deborah’s Garden, with Umbrella Pine (Sciadopitys verticillata) in the background    Image credit: C. Adler


Daffodils at the Richardson Preserve    Image credit: C. Adler

Thoreau’s Journals Provide a Wealth of Data for Climate Scientists

Spring is coming earlier than it did in the  nineteenth century, a scientific study has found.  One of the indicators of spring is the blossoming of trees and flowers.  Author, naturalist, and philosopher Henry David Thoreau was deeply interested in the unfolding of the seasons.  On his daily walks in Concord,  Massachusetts, he took notes whenever he observed such seasonal changes.  He wrote in his journal “I often visited a particular plant four or five miles distant, half a dozen times within a fortnight [2 weeks], that I might  know exactly when it opened.”  An entry on May 5, 1855, notes “High blueberry beg[in] to leaf in some places yesterday.”

Highbush blueberry in bloom at the Colman Reservation    Image credit: C Adler

Biologist Richard Primack has mined Thoreau’s journals for these observations and compared them with current data.  In 2010, for example, highbush blueberry first flowered in Concord on April 7.  Comparing 32 plants from Thoreau’s time to today, Primack found the first flowering dates were now occurring an average of 11 days earlier.  According to a United Nations panel, human activity has caused average global temperatures to increase 1.0 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.  In Concord, a suburb of Boston, the increase has been at least 2.0 degrees Celsius because of the “heat island” effect of dense development, pavement, and energy use compared to rural areas.  Plants are responding to this warming by blooming earlier.

A page from Thoreau’s Journal, May 5, 1855


Birds that migrate long distances, such as this Great Crested Flycatcher, have not adjusted their schedules to stay in sync with the earlier arrival of spring in Massachusetts.    Image credit: C Adler

In recent studies, Primack has found evidence that insect populations shift their schedules in sync with the plants they feed on, which is not surprising.  However, the arrival of birds who winter in the tropics has not, on average, shown much of a shift.  As a result, one of the consequences of climate change may be a mismatch between bird populations and the availability of the insects they feed on.  In 1852, Thoreau voiced a similar awareness of the importance of climate in the circle of life, noting that an unusually long winter could have deadly consequences for returning birds.  But he did not foresee the steady retreat of winter that we now face.

Landscaping with Native Plants

Grow Native Massachusetts, based in Waltham, is a great resource for anyone interested in gardening and landscaping with native plants.  They hold an evening lecture series every year from February to May at the Cambridge Public Library.  Videos of past lectures are available online.  They also have a plant sale coming up in Waltham on June 1, 2019.

Volunteers Needed for Ten Mile River Clean-Up

The city’s 13th annual Ten Mile River Clean-Up will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, rain or shine.

Volunteers are needed to help clean up along the river banks and walking trails.

Sign-up will be at the Community Garden on Riverbank Road, just off Hayward Street. Trash bags will be available.

Free refreshments will be supplied by Dunkin Donuts.

Sponsors include Mayor Paul Heroux, the Attleboro Land Trust, the Conservation Commission, Friends of the Ten Mile River, and Dunkin Donuts.

Volunteers and groups can sign up on the day of the clean-up.