For years, staff, youth residents, and volunteers have grown fresh produce from a garden located at The Chase Home. Previously benefiting not just kids at The Chase Home, but residents served by Gather in Portsmouth, this garden will soon expand with assistance from LeMay Family Goodworks.
“We are in active discussions with both Gather and LeMay Family Goodworks to see how we can enhance the garden and expand its scope,” said The Chase Home Executive Director Meme Wheeler. “We want to work collaboratively to serve the community and to educate our young residents on the importance of growing food and the therapeutic value of gardening.”
In past years, the garden has produced hundreds of vegetables, ranging from cucumbers, summer squash, and eggplant to cabbage, peppers, and tomatoes among others. Current and past sponsors of The Chase Home’s Food Program include Northeast Delta Dental and Rotary Club of Portsmouth.
Aside from its role in helping to address food insecurity on the Seacoast, the garden serves as a teaching tool for kids served by The Chase Home. “Kids often work alongside their families who visit them and staff,” said Wheeler. “There is a bonding component to gardening as well as the gratification of planting, tending, and sharing your own food.”
Regarding expectations for this summer’s garden, Wheeler said details regarding its expansion will be worked out by early May. “We are excited to see this garden literally grow,” she added.
Founded in 1877, The Chase Home in Portsmouth serves at-risk youth through prevention, early intervention, residential and community-based programs. Some youth are served in the community while others live at The Chase Home. To support The Chase Home, click here to donate.