where it all began

Each year garden projects are started in communities and schools by inspired leaders eager to take on the challenge. All too often, the projects falter after the first year or two, because of lack of long-term planning, inexperience, scarce resources, or the fact that well meaning people simply run out of time to manage their gardens.


See the NYTimes article, "The Rise of Company Garden" for some of these challenges.

We are here to give your community all the rich benefits of a community garden experience, while doing the work necessary to maintain it.  

We know that you're busy and that's why we offer to do as much as it takes to make your program a success. We strive to encourage your community members to participate as much as they can without it feeling like any kind of obligation.  

Outsourcing garden program management also ensures long-term program sustainability. Read more  about the need for program management in this Wall Street Journal article, "Vegetable Gardens Help Grow Morale."  

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
  •  fellow preschoolers 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  

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