Garden grows more than food at The Chase Home

Blog > Garden grows more than food at The Chase Home
Garden grows more than food at The Chase Home

This summer, youth who live at The Chase Home have enjoyed a variety of fresh produce grown from its garden, which serves a deeper purpose than that of mere nutrition, according to staff.

“It is a teaching tool for the kids we serve,” said Executive Director Meme Wheeler, who said the grant award from Rotary Club of Portsmouth enabled them to expand the garden,” she continued. 

“The garden is a place where kids, their families and staff can work together to quite literally reap what they have sown,” she added. “There is a therapeutic component to it.”

In total, this year’s garden has produced hundreds of vegetables, ranging from cucumbers, summer squash and eggplant to cabbage, peppers, and celery among others.

“We give Gather in Portsmouth extra produce we cannot use, so the potential to transform this into a community garden at some point in the future is very real,” noted Wheeler.

Expressing appreciation for financial support from Rotary Club of Portsmouth, Wheeler said the garden is “a metaphor for hope.”

“As we help our kids eat healthy meals, we hope they see the care that goes into it from both staff and the community,” she said. “Often, the best things in a community result from collaboration, and the garden is tangible proof of that.”

Rotary Club of Portsmouth’s Cathy Nickerson said they were “so excited” to provide The Chase Home with $2,500 for the creation and cultivating of their gardens.

“We are anxious to see the progress of these gardens and the residents’ success stories from the labors of their efforts,” she said.

The Rotary Club of Portsmouth’s Basic Needs committee provides much needed financial assistance for our local nonprofit organizations with financial assistance for food, clothing, heating and housing projects. To learn more about Rotary Club of Portsmouth, visit

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.