Skip to content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer

Dear Pine Plains 5.7.2021

View this email in your browser

Dear Pine Plains,

The week began with repairs on the water main at the corner of 199 and 82. Many thanks to all the businesses affected by the shut-down, and for their patience as the Water Department found a much greater problem than they had anticipated. These things are never easy, but anyone who knows how hard it is to predict the outcome of a repair knows also how hard that uncertainty is on the people actually doing the work! Our One Call Now System was put to use for the first time for this emergency. If you haven’t signed up for it yet, please find Alice at Town Hall.

Speaking of Alice, she’s leading the first Walkaround for Seniors on May 11th at 10am starting from the Municipal Parking Lot. Come walk and see old friends and make new ones. If you haven’t met Alice, she’ll be the gal who looks like Wonder Woman.

And the Garden Club is having their annual plant sale on May 22 from 9-12 at the American Legion. Get there early!

The Courts are back in session, just FYI. If you have an issue that is not traffic related, you can make an appointment to be heard on Mondays and Wednesdays. See our website for more info.

Deb Phillips’ Calendar will be available again too, at various locations around town, starting in June.

Also in June, on the second Wednesday June 9th at noon, we will hold the first Senior Luncheon at the Community Center since Covid. Come eat with others, help us plan the rest of the year and perhaps listen to a speaker. The agenda is tentative, the date is not! Let’s party!

June 12th there will be a reception and celebration for all our medical volunteers who helped vaccinate most of the Town. This will take place at 4pm at the Episcopal Church Lawn hosted by Penny Wheeler and Victoria LoBrutto.

In conjunction with the Presbyterian Church, interest has been expressed about forming a LGBTQ group that would meet there with the help of Pastor Ryan Larkin. If you’d like to participate, please send a shout-out to Ryan at or Darrah Cloud, address at the end of this email.

Also at the end of this email is a brief history of the Community Garden! It is a fine example of how a group of active citizens got together and made something good happen in Pine Plains–and kept it going.

I sat down with Gregg Pulver last week at The Moose to talk about what’s going on in Pine Plains, and together with Bob Clinch we ramped up responses to our Hometown Heroes Project. As I write this, Alice is putting the finishing touches on the next group of flags which should be in before Memorial Day to be hung by Kyle Loughheed and crew from Ginocchio Electric. She is bringing in 19 more this afternoon. That will bring us to 44 flags commemorating 44 veterans who enlisted from Pine Plains. So far.

This is a month devoted to remembering our veterans, and we usually have a wonderful parade in Town. That is organized by the VFW and American Legion groups, so look for word on this, as State regulations will ease on gatherings on the 15th of May. The photographs on our flags overhead serve to remind us every day however of the history of service people here have given to the United States. Walking around underneath them here is an honor.

Walk in history, Pine Plains!
Darrah Cloud

Contacts and websites: and (Darrah)  website
Pine Plains Town Hall   Facebook Page
made-in-pine-plains       Instagram

A Brief History of the Pine Plains Community Garden

The Beginning

Samantha Sloane Cole founded The Community Garden in 2012, as part of her Free Families Forward Project.  The Pine Plains Town Board then granted formal approval of putting the garden on town property.

At the beginning, there were many donations of lumber, supplies, and labor for the construction of raised beds.  The Town Highway Department tilled the soil.  Sandy Towers and her daughter, Elena, Vivienne Berlinghoff, and Dave Owens were among many early volunteers.  Their first planting was at the end of May, 2012.


In October of 2013, the Town Board voted to approve doubling the size of the garden.  They approved the addition of a pumpkin bed and fencing and posts.

A Quieter But Still Productive Time in the Garden

Samantha went on to other projects, as did other early volunteers.  Sandy Towers worked almost single handedly in the next years and made regular donations to the Pine Plains and other food pantries.  Dave Hummeston and Geoff Talcott provided help with the heavier lifting parts of the garden work like tilling and fence building.

By the summer of 2018, new volunteers appeared on the garden scene, including Suzanne Ouellette, Brenda Bertin, and Lenora Champagne.  The end of that summer also saw the installation of a sign for the Community Garden, constructed and painted by Anthony Silvia and Suzanne Ouellette.  In the next couple of years, other people joined including Elizabeth White, Nelson Zayas, and Tom McDermott.  Elizabeth and Nelson continue to contribute to the growing and distribution of garden vegetables through the Pine Plains Food Pantry and Willow Roots.

Growing the Garden Philosophy

At the November, 2019, meeting of the Town Board, the Community Garden group presented its proposal to include beds in the garden that would be maintained by individual gardeners.  Up until that time, garden beds were worked communally:  everyone worked in every bed to grow vegetables and herbs that would be distributed to food pantries in the community.  The Town Board approved our plan to augment the recruitment message that says basically:  “Come and work in the community garden and help grow food that will be distributed to people in the community who need it,” with a message that invites people to come and take responsibility for an individual garden plot in the garden where they will grow both food for themselves and their families and food for community distribution.  We envisioned 5- 7 “individual plots” in the southern section of the garden.  The front garden remained the space where all gardeners work together to grow vegetables and herbs for distribution.