Civic Groups

Amherst Garden Club Welcomes Chef Paula Garvey
Paula Garvey_edited.jpg

Paula Garvey

      On Thursday, May 5, 2022, the Amherst Garden Club’s own Paula Garvey will present a cooking demo, Plant Based Diet: Good for You and Good for the Planet!      Paula will show us how to make a healthy grain bowl and tasty veggie burgers, providing tips on how to

adapt recipes according to your own preferences. She will also share her thoughts on the health and environmental advantages of including more plants in our diets.

      Paula hails from Waterford, Ireland, where, after graduating with a degree in Home Economics, she worked as a cook, for household product maker Philips, demonstrating their new kitchen gadget — the microwave! — and then embarked on a teaching career.

      Paula taught “cookery” in the Irish school system for 13 years, instructing students in the preparation of traditional Irish dishes. At that time, vegetarian options received only an occasional mention.

      After moving to the United States, Paula focused on raising her three daughters. But she also missed teaching, so when the family relocated to Amherst in 2004, she began offering cooking workshops and demonstrations though the Recreation Department. This led to a teaching position in the culinary program at Souhegan High School.

      When Paula’s youngest daughter chose to become a vegetarian out of compassion for animals, Paula began investigating healthy, tasty plant-based meal options. Accommodating another daughter’s health diagnosis meant Paula was already skilled at adapting recipes and menus to ensure all family members received proper nutrition.

      “Often I will cook dinner with a meat, gluten free and vegetarian option — yes, it can be done! The only disadvantage is two extra pots to clean,” Paula says.

      She takes a practical approach to cooking and teaching, choosing dishes that are simple and tasty while also nutritious.

      The garden club meets at the Messiah Lutheran Church, 303 Route 101, Amherst. The business meeting will start at 9:15 am, and the presentation begins at 10:30. The public is welcome to attend.

Grants Available From Amherst Garden Club’s Charitable Fund

      The Amherst Garden Club’s Charitable Fund is one of the many ways the club seeks to support the community’s gardening and environmental interests and projects. For the past quarter century, AGC grants have funded efforts to support projects at the town library, Joshua’s Park, Peabody Mill Environmental Center, the local schools, the Souhegan Valley Boys and Girls Club, and many more. Each year, proceeds from the AGC Memory Tree are added to the Fund. 

      Grants are available to local community projects that align with our mission:“to provide education resources and networking opportunities to promote the love of gardening, civic landscaping and environmental responsibility.” 

      Guidelines, application forms, and additional information about Charitable Fund grants can be found at the Amherst Garden Club website, Applications can be submitted at any time of the year and are reviewed as they are received.  

      If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by email at

The Amherst Garden Club

Annual Spring Plant Sale is This Saturday, May 7

AGC members, L_R: Marge McAdams, Mary Ann Kuhnert, Patty Stafford, Pat Legere

      Just in case you have missed it, we are back in full force on May 7, 2022, at Wilkins School (80 Boston Post Road), and opening the gates at 8:30 am, to a group of hungry gardeners, looking for some great new plants, which we have! The event is more like a garden festival, and you will want to take it all in, right from the start!

      What is new this year? The Environmental Sustainability Committee will be set up and handing out information on Native plants and why they are so important to all of us! Our recently dug and potted “Natives” will be very visible with yellow sticks in the pots and yellow flags in the rows. Stop by the information booth where they will be and “Go Native!”  The “Garden Members Boutique” will have items from many of our creative, crafty members. It’s Mother’s Day Weekend so you might like to check it out! Bring your grand kids or tell your neighbors, they won’t want to miss the “Kids Potting Tent.” It is always one of our most popular areas during the event. There will be the usual great garden magazines and garden books at super prices at the “Gently Used Garden Books.” The raffle table might have fewer this year, but these baskets are all filled with quality items.  Last but not least, is the “House Plant Table” will be a popular table as people look over the many offerings to be rehomed to a plant loving environment!

      There will be a great group of external venders organized by Nancy Hokinson. Here you will find annuals, herbs, veggie seedlings, hanging baskets, garden ornaments, shrubs, local honey, Earth, Sky & Water note cards and laminated guides.  A good kick off to the gardening season. New this year will be Lukas Community, an adult residential community, selling some of their handmade “hose stoppers” as well as plants they have grown. NH Audubon will also be attending, passing out information on their many sanctuaries in NH, like Ponemah Bog!

      We will continue to take checks, cash and credit cards and our red aprons and cashiers work hard at moving the line along. The Pantry Tent is always full of amazing baked goods from our members and decorated for gift giving. Maybe you need a special baked item for your Mother’s Day meal.

      From the 8:30 am kick off to the final sale at 1:00 pm it is an exciting time as we get the opportunity to interact with so many passionate gardeners! Much of the money raised goes back into the community. It feels like a job well done by a community of amazing gardeners. . .The Amherst Garden Club.

Amherst Garden Club’s Garden Tips for May

To celebrate the Amherst Garden’s Club’s 51st year and to support the club’s mission to provide education, a few gardening tips are shared each month from the “Amherst Garden Club’s Regional Gardening Throughout the Year Calendar.” Copies are available at Amherst Garden Center, 305 Route 101, Amherst.  

It’s May! Now is the time…

  • - to mix herbs with flowers in your outdoor pots, such as parsley with fuchsia, or dill with lace flower. You’ll flavor your favorite dishes until frost!

  • - to hold off planting most annuals until Memorial Day when the soil has warmed up and the chance of frost is gone.

  • - to plant seeds of beans, cucumbers, melon, summer and winter squashes, and sunflowers.