Small Garden Footprint, Big Garden Love 

where it all began

what we believe  

My name is Christine Berthold.  Fresh Start began its journey when my children were small, and I was looking for ways to teach them about where real food comes from. 

As I looked through their young eyes at their food environment, this is what we saw: 

  • supermarket shelves filled with more "food products" than actual real food
  • chemically enhanced sugary treats marketed as "healthy" choices
  • little kids routinely eating junk food all day long

In an effort to balance the scales so that they would give real food a chance, we took some positive steps. We visited the Farmer's Market every week. Then, we bought into a CSA. Also, we all volunteered at a local organic farm, which I then went on to work for on my own. Finally, we grew a backyard garden.


Later, I joined out local Agricultural Commission and became its Education and Community Outreach Chair. Here, I could find fun ways to engage not just my kids, but also their schools and our local community in the benefits of local fresh food. 

Our Commission founded Westford's first community garden, a one-acre parcel that serves more than 100 families. 

Inspired by the benefits that so many community gardeners were experiencing, we started Fresh Start to help more people in more places reconnect with the benefits of gardening in their own lives. 

Too often in America, we are led to believe, especially as children, that food can either be healthy or fun. Community Gardens produce a real food experience that is both.

We believe that other nations have outpaced Americans in overall well-being. The healthy social interaction around food that is fostered in a community garden is what Americans are lacking.

We believe that by bringing not just the produce but the whole garden experience to our communities, we can make a real and lasting impact on the way people think about food, and in turn play a role in their overall health and well-being.

We believe that if the freshest, healthiest foods were as convenient as processed and packaged foods, then busy Americans would eat better. 

We believe that in a food system dominated by mega-food corporations and processed food, Americans need every advantage we can get to support healthy eating habits.

We believe everyone deserves foods grown without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

We believe you can fight with your fork against many of the diseases that plague Americans.

We believe that we can all take better control of our health and there is no better place to start than wherever we are right now.

why our model works  

Growing gardens is not a new thing.  However, family life is busier than ever, leaving many to assume that having a successful garden is just impossible.  

But as Lennon and McCartney famously sang, we can get by with a little help from our friends. 

We'll get your garden off to the most promising start, and provide advice throughout the season to keep your efforts on track. 

We will provide the extra set of eyes to catch things like pest or disease that can derail your efforts. 

And yes, you can go on vacation and not worry that all your hard work will be undone while you are away. 

Growing gardens is not new., but some of the challenges gardeners face today are.  Climate fluctuations require an extra watchful eye and know how to protect your plants from wild weather.  

Our staff is trained to look out for the challenges and deal with them effectively and organically, in a timely manner. 

Read about our great experience at the Boys and Girls Club in Nashua detailed in their newsletter