Gardening May 2021

From Mélie’s Garden

As May arrives, many Fishers Islanders are excited by the creation of a new Community Garden. The idea for the garden came from a group of residents on the Island led by Tryn Collins, Chelsea Ernst, and Lily Starbuck. They wanted a place for our community to gather, grow and share”. They researched other community gardens in the area to learn as much as they could about running such a project. The next challenge was to find a place to have it.  The new owners of the Canio Toglia property next to the American Legion were happy to provide them with space. Three large and diseased Norway spruces have been removed to provide more sunlight; pollinator plant seeds have been planted in a new flowerbed in front of an existing building. Thanks to initial donations, wood for twenty-five raised beds and fence posts has been ordered as well as wire fencing material. I have asked Tryn Collins to add a recent update on the project which follows.

May 1, 2021

Since we began the community garden effort, we’ve been blown away by the generosity and support that the island has offered! Thank you so much for your contributions and enthusiasm so far. They’ve enabled us to move toward making this dream a reality.

Very soon we will be placing our first lumber order. This means construction on the fence, arbor, and beds will be underway this May. If you are handy and would like to help or just curious to learn, please email us at We will make sure to include you in the build because many hands make light work! Also in the next month, we will be purchasing our cistern irrigation system, solar panels, tools, and seeds and if we have enough funding, this will also include a shed.

We planted our pollinator garden two weeks ago and already little seedlings have emerged! The seed mixes we used were Bee Feed Mix and Beneficial Insect Attractant Mix from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. These wildflowers will not only be beautiful but most importantly will help attract pollinators such as bees to our crops all season long. Our food ecosystem is dependent upon these noble creatures, after all, they are responsible for pollinating a third of the food we eat!

If you would like to participate, have a bed this summer, or help with the construction, please make sure to visit our website so we can stay in touch. Also, you can follow our journey on Instagram @fishersislandcommunitygarden. We can’t wait to finally have garden beds constructed and start really growing.

And if you haven’t yet donated and would like to, please visit our website or send a check to the Community Center with “garden” on the memo line. We know we have a long way to go, but we have such a strong and supportive community behind us!”

The FI Community Garden Committee
Tryn Collins, Chelsea Ernst and Lily Starbuck

I do hope that many Islanders will support this wonderful effort!

Mélie Spofford

Bee Feed Mix
Provide bee forage all season long. A blend of nectar and pollen flowers for honey bees, native bees, bumblebees, and other pollinators. This mix of low-maintenance perennials and reseeding annual wildflowers contains:
• Agastash foeniculum – Anise Hyssop (P)
• Aster novae-angliae – New England Aster (P)
• Callistephus chinensis – China Aster (A)
• Cheiranthus allionii – Siberian Wallflower (P)
• Coreopsis lanceolata – Lanceleaf Coreopsis (P)
• Coreopsis tinctoria – Plains Coreopsis (A)
• Cynoglossum amabile – Chinese Forget-Me-Not (B)
• Echinacea purpurea – Purple Coneflower (P)
• Erigeron speciosus – Fleabane (P)
• Eschscholzia californica – California Poppy (A)
• Gaillardia pulchella – Indian Blanket (A)
• Gilia capitata – Globe Gilia (A)
• Layia platyglossa – Tidy Tips (A)
• Linum perenne – Blue Flax (P)
• Lobularia maritima – Sweet Alyssum (A)
• Monarda fistulosa – Bergamot (P)
• Nemophila menziesii – Baby Blue-Eyes (A)
• Papaver rhoeas – Corn Poppy (A)

Beneficial Insect Attractant Mix:
Attract beneficial insects. Perennial and annual varieties attract a wide array of beneficial insects that prey upon unwanted garden insect pests. Mix contains:
• Alyssum saxatile – Basket of Gold (A)
• Ammi majus – False Queen Anne’s Lace (A)
• Anethum graveolens – Dill (A)
• Cheiranthus allionii – Siberian Wallflower (P)
• Chrysanthemum paludosum – Creeping Daisy (P)
• Coreopsis lanceolata – Lanceleaf Coreopsis (P)
• Coriandrum sativum – Cilantro (A)
• Cosmos bipinnatus – Dwarf Cosmos (A)
• Dalea purpurea – Purple Prairie Clover (P)
• Eschscholzia californica – California Poppy (A)
• Foeniculum vulgare – Leaf Fennel (A)
• Gilia capitata – Globe Gilia (A)
• Iberis umbellata – Candytuft (A)
• Liatris spicata – Blazing Star (P)
• Leucanthemum X superbum – Shasta Daisy (P)
• Lobularia maritima – Sweet Alyssum (A)
• Monarda fistulosa – Bergamot (P)
• Nemophila menziesii – Baby Blue-Eyes (A)
• Rudbeckia hirta – Black-Eyed Susan (P)

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