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Chappaqua Gives Back With Community Garden

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. - Dozens of local residents showed off their green thumbs on Sunday with the second annual opening of the Chappaqua Community Garden on North Greeley Avenue.

While residents will be allowed to show off their creative gardening efforts in their personal plots, four plots have also been reserved for charity use. Any food grown in the "Giving Garden" will be donated to local pantries.

"Our concern is that there are way too many people in this county who don’t have enough to eat, and the ones that get the help only see canned food, they never get fresh," said Garden Co-chair Suzi Novak.

Novak and fellow Co-chair Susan Rubin work with Intergenerate , a nonprofit company in Westchester that helps create environmentally-friendly community gardens, including Chappaqua's.

Rubin said food items such as broccoli, lettuce, kale, squash, zucchini and more will be grown in the Giving Garden, and a troop of fourth grade Girl Scouts will help maintain the plots along with other community garden members.

The all-volunteer garden was made possible by the Chappaqua Volunteer Ambulance Corps, which allowed the garden to use its land.

"It’s kinda fun. You get people coming out and just kinda working the garden and, literally, everybody does something different," said CVAC member Warren Hart. "Pretty much everybody has a tomato. You gotta do a tomato. But you see these weird things and you go ‘what the heck is that?’"

Also helping out the garden was Lou Bastone, owner of Chappaqua Paint and Hardware, who donated a tool shed and installed a watering system in the garden.

"He’s like an angel," Novak said. "He said ‘can I do this?’ We didn’t even ask him."

Bastone took over the South Greeley Avenue store one year ago, and said his father's passion for gardening makes him happy to donate his services.

"He would make a garden grow out of two feet of dirt. So this really hits home for me," Bastone said of his father, who passed away two years ago. "Thank you allowing me give."

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