Photo by: Jeanne Nevard ( not courtesy photo, please?)

PHOTO ID'S, Left to right:

Fran Bergeron, Verdell Roberts, Cassie Whitmore, Tony Beattie, Jean Danforth, Marianne Lindgren, and Linda Starr

The Pepperell Grange hosted a talk last Saturday on "Starting Your Own Backyard Garden," presented by Grange members Linda Starr and Tony Beattie of Robinwood Farm.

Starr presented informative tips and dispersed many handouts on gardening. The talk covered: crop selections, soils, site location, organic gardening, growing calendar, watering practices, composting and more.

The advantages of homegrown food are numerous, including: more affordable produce, sustainability, improved nutrition, a great family project, and the joys of harvesting your own crops.

Beattie spoke on growing seedlings and soil testing for successful results for your vegetable and other home gardens. A question and answer period followed.

Starr served broccoli soup and pasta with broccoli, whetted the appetites of the participants, and thereby illustrated how nutritious and easy it is to cook with your own vegetables. Recipes were given out for sauces, soups and creative homegrown vegetable dishes.

The Grange is an active group that welcomes new members. The group began meeting in the 1870s in the historic Grange Hall. The Grange co-sponsors the Saturday farmers market, hosts monthly suppers, yards sales and other seasonal activities.

Prescott Grange will hold an open house May 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a Maypole celebration including live music, food and drinks and tours of the historic Grange hall.

The Grange's motto is "Shake the hand of the farmer that grows your food."