Jessie’s Community Gardens Offers Family-Friendly Gardening Demo

WEST HARTFORD, CONN. (June 6, 2019) – Every year, volunteers across Greater Hartford grow tons of fruit, vegetables and herbs at Jessie’s Community Gardens to help feed local people in need. On Sunday, June 23, the public is invited to learn more about this initiative and pick up tips from a Master Gardener at a free information session and demonstration to be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at Buena Vista Community Garden, Cornerstone Drive, West Hartford.
“Jessie loved cooking with fresh vegetables and had empathy for those in need,” said Dane Kostin, who co-founded Jessie’s Community Gardens with his wife Michele to honor their daughter Jessica Lynn Kostin, who died unexpectedly in 2010. “She would appreciate the fact that Jessie’s Community Gardens serve multiple purposes: bringing diverse people together, feeding the hungry, and teaching about nutrition and caring for the Earth.”
The initiative is managed by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Hartford, part of Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, with ongoing support from the Kostin family and others. Since 2011, 16 Jessie’s Community Gardens have been established in East Hartford, Hartford, Manchester, West Hartford and even San Francisco. They can be found at synagogues and churches, in public parks, and at preschools, youth centers and senior service agencies. Volunteers represent a broad spectrum of ages, faiths and cultures. The produce likewise benefits a diverse range of people, including clients of Jewish Family Services’ Anja Rosenberg Kosher Food Pantry in West Hartford, Loaves and Fishes in Hartford, MACC in Manchester and Hockanum Valley Community Council in Vernon.
“Our June 23 program is an easy way to learn more about gardening volunteer opportunities and get advice you can use in your own garden,” said Alana Butler, Federation’s director of volunteer engagement. “Steve Kovack, the consultant to Jessie’s Community Gardens, is a Certified Advanced Master Gardener and member of the West Hartford Garden Club. He’ll share his vegetable and herb gardening expertise with us, and we’ll also have a fun planting project for kids.”
Light refreshments will be served, and everyone is welcome to attend. Registration is required; please contact Alana Butler at or 860.727.6152 by June 20 to RSVP.
PHOTO CAPTION: Volunteers from Beth David Synagogue and the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle tend a Jessie’s Community Garden in West Hartford. There are 14 Jessie’s Community Gardens at locations across Greater Hartford.