The people of southern Maine lost a good and generous man with the recent death of Rocco C. Risbara Jr. (Obituaries, March 17). The gardeners at Brentwood Farms Community Garden in Portland lost their benefactor and dear friend.

Mr. Risbara was a rare combination of visionary and hard worker who was willing to give so much of himself, his time and his expertise in building our garden on the site of what was his grandfather Clemente Risbara’s farm before it was foreclosed in the Great Depression.

To honor the memory of Clemente and his wife, Concetta, the owners of the original Brentwood Farms, Rocco donated his time, labor and construction equipment to help the Deering Neighborhood Association build what is now the largest community garden in Portland.

Today, more than 65 families honor the memory of Rocco when we garden here. Countless other visitors enjoy the restored site, its gardens, orchard and winding paths that invite all to enjoy the beauty of this quiet urban spot.

It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to Rocco, and with deep appreciation and gratitude we thank his beautiful wife, Marcia, and his family for sharing such a wonderful man with us – we needed his talent, his hard work and his know-how, and we enjoyed his spirit and his stories. Now his story, and that of his family, will live on at Brentwood Farms.

Elizabeth Tarasevich

Brentwood Farms Community Garden


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