Today, the first day of summer, I have cut and delivered, our first weekly bouquets from Hallelujah! cut flower CSA at the former Notre Dame church at 40 Melville Street in the heart of Pittsfield, MA Our cutting garden, on the corner of First and Melville Streets is bursting forth with Calendula, Pink Yarrow, Delphinium, Clary Sage, Shasta Daisies, and Gomphrena this week.
My husband and I bought this property - the former Notre Dame church and adjoining 7500 sq ft rectory in 2006. The plan was for the church to house my then 40-person production company and soon to be flag ship store. That plan changed, and I, and a 4 other ladies founded an organization called Alchemy Initiative, who’s mission is 'to build community by providing a forum for food and farming, art and music, health and healing and sustainable living'. As Alchemy Initiative grew, it was decided not to be tied to a specific location, so, in May, I found myself stepping away from that entity and in a position to push forward in our property development here without the encumbrance of group decision making.
While the building is listed for sale (for $349K if anyone is interested), and there are seven other churches for sale in Pittsfield, we are working toward making a financially viable model of whole living here. We are close to tying up years’ long discussions with the city to allow us to use the property as artists’ studio space with an onsite gallery. We will turn the church-supper kitchen into a bona fide commercial kitchen for small food producers to make their product and to that end, let me introduce you to our cutting garden:
Hallelujah! Is our cut flower CSA from the rectory lawn that has transformed to an organic urban flower farm. Full shares are $200 – a growing season (15 weeks) worth of bouquets. Half shares are $100 and give you 7 weeks of fresh cut arrangements. Individual bouquets are available for $20. All, are arranged in recyclable Mason jars and, are available for pick up on Wednesdays between 11 and 5pm at the former Notre Dame Church at 40 Melville Street in Pittsfield, MA. Free delivery is available in walking distance of the garden. Other Berkshire County deliveries are available – some free, to local nursing care facilities (what a great gift for our loved ones in assisted living situations!)
Reserve your share today by contacting me at Crispinaffrench@gmail.com or by phone 413-236-9600. Then come by on Wednesdays (except on Thursday, July 5th that week) for an uplift to your mid-week. Help green this city!