Recently I attended a local garden club meeting with a friend and listened to, Dennis Chasteen, a real all-around organic gardening expert and a retired chemistry professor at UNH.
In his well-organized slide presentation and supplemental handouts, he covered everything from building raised beds right through the growing season to harvest. My head is still spinning from all his great ideas.
I’ve put his handouts in a binder, and I’m using it for my reference manual this year to see if I can continue to improve my gardening skills. What a wonderful organic gardener he is and how generous to share his knowledge of all things organic.
He is not only an expert on the entire organic gardening process but I’d say a local hero. He and his wife maintain twenty-four raised beds, growing a variety of fresh vegetables, and donating it to the local Seacoast Family Food Pantry, Portsmouth, NH.
It makes you stop and think about the physical labor and dedication that is involved in taking care of an organic garden this size. And, then they give it away. Because of their efforts, people in need can have access to fresh organically grown vegetables and not just processed, packaged foods.
He told us all the hard work required and the early hours picking, washing, and delivering are worth it when he sees the delight on the pantry clients’ faces. The number of families needing assistance to feed their families has increased 60% this year – a staggering and sobering number.
Dennis Chasteen is helping his fellow man and woman in the truest sense of the word – he’s feeding them through the fruits of his physical labor. This kind of selflessness is hard to find but should certainly be recognized. I think he’s definitely a super hero.