Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center’s Farm Benefits the Gemma Moran Food Pantry
Mystic, CT (February 24, 2022) — In its eighth year, the Giving Garden at Coogan Farm has set its most ambitious goal yet – to grow 20,022 pounds of fresh and nutritious produce to benefit the food insecure across New London County.
In connection with this goal, the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, which owns Coogan Farm, has launched a three-pronged challenge to its supporters:
● Make a donation. Donating to the Giving Garden ensures that the Nature Center is able to provide the equipment, soil boosting amendments and supplies for a robust growing season.
● Volunteer your time. The Garden depends on volunteers for its success. Without this dedicated corps of workers who do everything from plant to weed to harvest, the garden would not exist.
● Share the mission. Follow the Giving Garden progress through the year on our social media and share our posts.
In its first year, 2014, the Giving Garden was able to produce just over 1 ton of food on a small piece of land. In 2021, the Garden produced more than 15,000 pounds of food that was donated to the Gemma E. Moran United Way Labor Food Center, which distributes food to 63 programs that serve 91 feeding sites across New London County.
Craig Floyd has been the manager of Coogan Farm and the Giving Garden since 2015. Under his leadership, the acreage has increased, the quality of the soil and the nutritional value of the produce has improved, and the volunteer corps has swelled. 2022 will be the last year Floyd will run the Garden full time. In 2023, he will continue to work part-time to help the Nature Center transition the farm to new management.
“Craig’s passion for the Giving Garden at Coogan Farm is unmatched. He has worked tirelessly to make the garden a vital donor of fresh produce to the United Way Mobile Food Pantry, and established himself as an important part of the fabric of our community,” said Davnet Conway, executive director of the Nature Center. “In his last year working full-time, we want to do everything possible to help Craig meet his dream goal of more than 10 tons of fresh produce. He’s already off to a great start, with the harvest of 45 pounds of greenhouse carrots in January!”