Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

A Garden for All

Washington resident, Denise Arturi, has a mission



Supervising some 100 volunteers, Denise Arturi leads the way at Judea Garden.

Photos by Rich Pomerantz

Denise Arturi is one of those people everybody in town knows. Unassuming, tirelessly hard working, always smiling, her silver hair belies the youthfulness of her active life. She’s always on the go, the quintessential doer.

Arturi is head gardener of the Judea Garden, a thriving community garden founded by members of St. John’s Church in Washington after the economic crash of 2008 to help provide food for local families in need, and now part of Steep Rock Association. Arturi supervises more than 100 volunteers, individuals, and members of almost every local organization from the schools and faith based groups to service clubs like the Lions and the Garden Club. The Washington Fire Department keeps the water tanks filled for irrigation.

Individuals start the seeds on their windowsills, weed the rows, harvest, sort and package the produce weekly for distribution at town hall in Washington and through food banks in New Milford and Warren. Arturi calculates that in the ten years it has been operating, the garden has provided over 30,000 pounds of food to local residents. “The mission is always to consider the needs of the community and to involve as many components of the town as we can,” she says. True to her unselfish nature, it’s never “I”, always “we”.

A Washington resident since 1982, Arturi had just completed her master gardener certification when the garden was started. Her husband Peter, an attorney, had accepted a job that required relocating, so Denise was preparing to move when the economy tanked and the job offer disappeared. The Arturis remained, contributing to the good fortune of the community. She was asked to help with the garden at its inception, and has never looked back. As the head volunteer for many years she managed the garden, located now (after a move) on Steep Rock land at the entrance to the Macricostas Preserve on Christian Street. Management was transferred to Steep Rock in 2014. 

Now entering its tenth season, the garden is expanding this year to almost double in size with new raised beds. The goal for this year is to plant perennial crops new to the garden, like asparagus, rhubarb, and Jerusalem artichokes.

Also planned to celebrate this milestone anniversary are special events at the garden and in town. There will be a reading on May 5 of the children’s classic, Stone Soup, at 1 pm for children at the Gunn Library with guests asked to bring vegetables to share. The library is also hosting Summer Garden Abundance talks with local cookbook author Ann Hodgman and Robin Hirschfield whose canned goods are enjoyed by patrons of many area establishments.  

Throughout the summer Arturi is planning a series of roundtable talks in the garden, with local farmers and gardeners to discuss issues relating to local gardening. On July 7 at 4 pm there will be a photography workshop, with an exhibit and contest of photos from the garden planned on August 25 which is also Open Garden Day.

And every Wednesday there is the popular Weed and Wine, with wine provided for adult volunteer weeders. Planting days this year will be May 19 and 20, and June 3. 

Add your comment:

Connect With Us    

Sign-up for our event 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Catch the Vibe Newsletter

See this weekend's events in the area!
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

January 2019

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Hartford Boat Show (HBS50) features the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, deck and pontoon boats, sport and...

Cost: $12 in advance online, $14 at the door, $10 Senior/Military one day pass

Where:
Expo Center at Mohegan Sun
1 Mohegan Sun Blvd
Uncasville, CT  06382
View map »


Sponsor: Connecticut Marine Trades Association
Telephone: 860-767-2645
Contact Name: Kathleen Burns
Website »

More information

Zachary Zaitzeff is a painter living in the Hudson Valley who has incorporated his extensive world travel, including his 2011 summit of Mount Everest, into his artwork. Zachary spent 2018 studying...

Cost: free

Where:
RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
Kent, CT  06757
View map »


Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Zachary Zaitzeff is a painter living in the Hudson Valley who has incorporated his extensive world travel, including his 2011 summit of Mount Everest, into his artwork. Zachary spent 2018 studying...

Cost: free

Where:
RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
Kent, CT  06757
View map »


Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Zachary Zaitzeff is a painter living in the Hudson Valley who has incorporated his extensive world travel, including his 2011 summit of Mount Everest, into his artwork. Zachary spent 2018 studying...

Cost: free

Where:
RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
Kent, CT  06757
View map »


Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
Website »

More information

Join the area’s leading investment and financial professionals at the CFA Society Hartford’s Annual Forecast Dinner. The group’s premier networking event of the year will be...

Cost: Individual Member seats are $90 before 1/8, $110 for non-members

Where:
Connecticut Convention Center
100 Columbus Blvd.
Hartford, CT  06103
View map »


Sponsor: CFA Society Hartford
Telephone: 860-604-1411
Contact Name: Rebecca Taylor
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Curious about meditation? Come experience an hour of guided meditation and sound healing aimed to help you release tension, sleep better, and cultivate overall happiness. No prior experience...

Cost: 15.00

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
Website »

More information

Zachary Zaitzeff is a painter living in the Hudson Valley who has incorporated his extensive world travel, including his 2011 summit of Mount Everest, into his artwork. Zachary spent 2018 studying...

Cost: free

Where:
RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
Kent, CT  06757
View map »


Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join New Morning Market’s new knitting club! We’re crafting wearable items for Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury and welcome all levels to join! Instructors will be on-hand for beginners. Yarn,...

Cost: Free - registration requested

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
Website »

More information

Zachary Zaitzeff is a painter living in the Hudson Valley who has incorporated his extensive world travel, including his 2011 summit of Mount Everest, into his artwork. Zachary spent 2018 studying...

Cost: free

Where:
RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
Kent, CT  06757
View map »


Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
Website »

More information

Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Jampa Mackenzie Stewart of Valley Spirit and Wellness Center in Washington Depot, CT presents TaiChi & Meditation an Introduction.  Join us for a...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Margaret Ferguson

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Zachary Zaitzeff is a painter living in the Hudson Valley who has incorporated his extensive world travel, including his 2011 summit of Mount Everest, into his artwork. Zachary spent 2018 studying...

Cost: free

Where:
RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
Kent, CT  06757
View map »


Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
Website »

More information

Calling all fans of Scottish food and Diana Galbaldon’s Outlander series. Don your tartan, make like Jamie’s clan motto and be ready! You’re invited to an amazing Outlander...

Cost: 100.00

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Zachary Zaitzeff is a painter living in the Hudson Valley who has incorporated his extensive world travel, including his 2011 summit of Mount Everest, into his artwork. Zachary spent 2018 studying...

Cost: free

Where:
RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
Kent, CT  06757
View map »


Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
Website »

More information

Join us for a very special evening of music from these four accomplished singer songwriters: David Ray, Mike Latini, Dave Goldenberg, George Mallas.  

Cost: 20.00

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Saturday, Jan. 26 Mini Golf Family Day in the Stacks at Wilton Library, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wilton Library will hold its 2nd mini golf fundraising event. There will be food (each paid admission will...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Contact Name: Wilton Library
Website »

More information

Join us for another incredible evening of music featuring four local singer songwriters performing original music! Doors open at 7pm in New Morning’s handicapped accessible Community Room on the...

Cost: Free

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Field of Dreams

Cricket Hill, proof positive that Heaven exists
Edit ModuleShow Tags