Tarytown Hall Care Center residents and community members gathered for the opening of the Tarrytown Hall Community Garden on Tuesday evening.
Village Trustees and representatives of the care center stood alongside Mayor Drew Fixell to applaud those responsible for bringing the new garden to life.
"It's a beautiful garden," Fixell said. "It's great to see how well it's working."
According Carole Griffiths, chair of the Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council, the garden is a joint venture between the Village of Tarrytown and Tarrytown Hall Care Center.
"One of our goals is to reduce energy usage and carbon usage in the villages," she said. "One way is to promote homegrown food."
Griffiths said the council began discussing community gardens around two years ago, and signed a lease for this particular garden at the beginning of July. Other community gardens are already in place at 100 College Ave. in Sleepy Hollow and Franklin Courts in Tarrytown.
The majority of the funding for the garden came from a grant provided by the Westchester Community Foundation, which covered the raised beds and soil. Additional donations were made by nearby businesses including the Home Depot and Rosedale Nurseries.
The Tarrytown Hall Community Garden holds 12 plots in total, three of which have raised beds to allow the Center's residents to access them from wheelchairs or walkers. The other nine were open to residents of Tarrytown.
"We all met and put the garden together," Griffiths said. "We put the raised beds in one day, fencing up another day and the gate on a third day."
A month later, all of the garden's plots are thriving, with an abundance of vegetables and herbs including broccoli, winter squash and a variety of peppers.
"It's so beautiful so far," said Griffiths. "The plots are overflowing with stuff."
After the opening ceremony, gardeners invited friends and family to admire the fruits of their labor while enjoying refreshments on the lawn.
Monica Molina, a Tarrytown resident, brought her daughter and friends to the event.
"It's still growing, but I'm happy," she said through a translator of her plot.
Molina said she was surprised when her whole family, including her husband, had been eager to help out on the plot. The family has planted a wide variety of seeds, including tomatoes, pumpkins, cauliflower, cilantro and radishes.
Griffiths said each plot must be maintained by its owner, and so far, everything has gone smoothly.
"I want it to be run by people who are using it, not outsiders," she explained.
The group will likely throw a harvest party at the end of the season and enjoy a feast made from the garden's output before preparing it to survive the winter.
"We're hoping to get more people in this garden and start another garden," said Griffiths. "But that will depend on people's interest. People have to want these kinds of things."