Vermont Community Garden Network Bulletin

February 2013  

 

 

Keep Thinking Green Until the Spring,
Stay Inspired and Avoid the Winter Blues!

 

In This Issue
Grow It! Garden Organizer Trainings
In the Garden: Planning and Preparing
In the Kitchen: Heart Beet Pancakes
Contest: What do you LOVE about your garden?
Teaching Garden Program Expands with New Site at the Intervale
Garden Grant Opportunities
Upcoming Events

  

VCGN's 
Grow It! Garden Organizer Training Series starts this weekend at the NOFA Winter Conference
 

VCGN is partnering with NOFA-VT for the second annual Community & School Garden Track workshop series at NOFA's winter conference February 16-17. If you are a garden organizer, educator, or have an interest in community-based food production this workshop series is for you! 

 

Look for the special garden-focused workshops on Sunday, including  Beyond the Backyard: Starting a Community Garden Project, Dirt: Strategies for building good soil for your home, community or school garden, Growing school food year round to build community and curriculum connections, and the Grow It! Double Session Intensive for established garden organizers. Sessions are led by local and national experts including garden organizers from around the state, Community Garden Specialist Betsy Johnson, Garden Writer and Consultant Charlie Nardozzi, Highfields Center for Composting Program Manager Noah Fishman, and Vermont Community Garden Network staff. The day includes a Lunchtime Networking Session with conversation stations including School Garden Connections, Garden Design for Food and Community and Building Successful Community Garden Education Program. 

 

The NOFA workshops kick off the NEW statewide Grow It! Garden Organizer Trainings which will be held in Newport, White River Junction, Putney, Bennington, and Barre. Click here for more information.

 

 

February in the Garden: Plan to Plant!

With all of the wild weather our state has been experiencing the past few weeks, it's hard to believe that it's time to start thinking about the growing season! But before crawling out of our winter hibernation, take the time to finalize your garden plans and start preparing for the growing season. Here are a few tasks to consider for the month of February:

 

If you haven't already made a plan for your garden, do so now. This will help with organizing your seed purchases. Refer to past garden journals and plan for good crop rotation to prevent any diseases or pests from affecting your garden. While you're at it, start a new chapter in your garden journal; write down any goals or ideas for your plot including structures you want to build or new crops or methods you want to introduce. Take notes on average frost dates for your specific location and plan out when to start seeding indoors for transplants.
 
If you are planting at a community garden and haven't secured your plot, be sure to contact your local garden organizer or Recreation and Parks department and apply!
 
The evenings of seed catalog indulging should be nearing an end. If you haven't already put in your seed orders, check your current seed stock and supplies and place your orders soon. The earlier you order your seeds, the better the selection will be, and remember to include any seeds for fall plantings!
 
If you already have your seeds, or if you have a significant stock from last season, sort your seeds by sowing date. If you're feeling creative, consider making notes for companion plants and reference your garden journal for previous season successes. 
 
Keep your eye on indoor houseplants, check for pests, drying, or the amount of dust they may have collected! If you find your plants to be particularly dusty, gently wipe leaves with a damp towel and plain water. If plants are movable consider carefully washing them on low pressure in the sink or shower. 
 
Stay tuned with events in the community and sign up for seminars and trainings to stay inspired and thinking green! 

 

February In The Kitchen: Heart Beets!

Keeping in time with the season, this month's In The Kitchen section is inspired by sweets found in the root cellar, and of course, good ole' St.Valentine! Below is a recipe for heart shaped pancakes colored red with beets, and spotted with chocolate chips. Make this seasonal breakfast treat for you or your valentine (partner, child, cat, lizard, etc.) and start the day on a sweet note! 

 

Tools you will need: Fry pan or griddle, food processor or masher, a good spatula, 2 mixing bowls, and spoon.   

 

Recipe yields 5 large pancakes 

Ingredients:  

Dry:                                                                                   Wet: 

3/4 C All Purpose Flour                                               1 C Cooked Quinoa  

2 tsp Baking Powder                                                     1/2 C Pureed/Mashed Beets (2 sm. Beets) 

1/2 tsp Salt                                                                      1 Tbs Butter  

*1/2 C Dark/Semi-sweet Chocolate/Carob Chip  1 Lg. Egg & 1 Egg White     

*optional                                                                           1/4 C Milk ( I used whole) 

                                                                                            4 Tbs Sugar  

 

 

Preparation: Before mixing the ingredients, prepare ahead of time by cooking the quinoa and boiling the beets until soft. Set cooked quinoa aside and puree soft beets in food processor (if you do not have access to a food processor, mash them - even with a fork - will do).  

 

Combine dry ingredients in a medium-large sized bowl. Create a divot in the middle of dry ingredients and add all wet ingredients besides the egg white.  In a separate bowl beat egg white until stiff. Fold egg white into mix. 

 

The rest is easy; heat the pan or griddle until a drop of water sizzles when it touches. Let a dash of fat (butter or oil) grease the pan. Pour batter, and use spatula to shape the hearts. Flip, serve, enjoy!

 

Serve with butter, syrup, frozen leftover berries, homemade whipped cream, or whatever your heart desires! 

 

Show Your Love! 
 
In the spirit of Valentines Day, We are challenging you to get creative in expressing your garden love through our contest: What do you love about your garden?
 It could be anything! Post your response on our Facebook wall. We want to hear what makes you excited to dig in the dirt, or weed tirelessly under the hot summer sun!  
 
The comment with the most "likes" will receive a lovely set of Tea Towels generously donated by April Cornell, along with a bountiful bundle of seeds! Contest goes until Feb. 13 and winner announced Feb. 14.  For more information visit our Facebook page! 
 

 

 Build Your Garden and Your Confidence: Enroll Now in our Community Teaching Garden Program!
Program expands with second site at the Intervale
 
The Community Teaching Garden is a fun, hands-on organic gardening program for adults. Participants learn how to plant, cultivate, harvest, and preserve fresh vegetables in a supportive learning environment. Classes are held twice a week from May through September at Ethan Allen Homestead and - new in 2013! - at Tommy Thompson Community Garden in the Intervale. The course fee includes garden beds, instruction, seeds, plants, supplies, water, use of garden tools, garden potlucks, and all the delicious fresh produce participants can grow and eat. Scholarship assistance is available to cover up to half of the course fee thanks to the Frank Way Memorial Scholarship Fund. The new site is in partnership with Burlington Area Community Gardens and a special instruction-only option is available for existing Tommy Thompson gardeners. For more information, visit our website or call (802) 861-4769. The enrollment deadline is March 22! Register here 

 

 

Register Now for Your Burlington Garden Plot!


Now is the time for new gardeners in the Burlington area to register for community garden plots through the Burlington Area Community Gardens program.  Returning gardeners in good standing can still renew their plots throughout the new gardener registration period. There are 12 community gardening sites, and four plot sizes to choose from; full, half, quarter and kitchen. Not all sizes are available at each location, check the website for site location and plot availability, and click here to register.  Tell your friends!

 

Additional sites are available at the Archibald and Riverside neighborhood gardens in the Old North End. More info at www.growteamvt.com 

 

 

Garden Grants 

 

Lowes Toolbox for Education Grant - Lowe's Charitable Educational Foundation funds projects ranging from gardens, and nature trails. Application deadline Feb. 15, 2013, but may close early if 1,500 applicants are reached. More info    

 

National Gardening Association KidsGardening Grant - For youth garden initiatives with plans to promote nutrition education, incorporate fruit and vegetable activities into curriculum, and sustain the program for the future, this grant offers 40 recipients  $500 in gardening supplies, curriculum, soil amendments and plants. Application deadline Feb. 18, 2013  More info 

 

Captain Planet Foundation Grant - Awarded to hands-on education programs that improve the environment of their schools and communities. Application deadline Feb. 28, 2013 More info 

 

New England Grassroots Environment Fund SEED Grants -  Grants to help volunteer groups launch and build their community-based, environmentally focused project(s). Grant range $250-$1,000. Rolling application deadline. More info

 

Small Grants Program for Congregations Doing Faith-Based Initiatives to Transform the Food System - The Presbyterian Hunger Program offers grants from $100 - $1000. Applications accepted on a rolling basis. More info  

 

Awesome Foundation's Food Chapter - Every month, one $1,000 micro-grant will be given for an awesome idea involving food. The more inventive, the better. More info  

 

Mantis Tiller Award 25 non-profit garden program applicants can apply to win a Mantis tiller/cultivator for use in their garden. Application deadline March 7, 2013 More info 

 

New England Grassroots Environmental Fund Grow Grant- Grants to help established groups evolve or expand. Application deadline March 15, 2013 More info 

 

* NEW GARDEN GRANTS TO BE ANNOUNCED AT NOFA-VT CONFERENCE: VCGN is partnering with New England Grassroots Environment Fund and Highfields Center for Composting on a new grant round for community and school gardens and community compost projects. Look for more info next week! 


EventSave the Date:    

 

Enroll Now for VCGN's Community Teaching Garden Program! See above for details.  

 

February 1- April 1: New Gardener Registration is open through Burlington Area Community Gardens.  Click here for more information about plot locations and sizes, and here to register. 

 

February 14: Learn how to care for sprouting seeds through Gardeners Supply in Williston's Lunch & Learn program starting at noon. Eat lunch and enjoy the free event. 

 

February 16 & 17: NOFA-VT Winter Conference with special Community and School Garden Workshop Series. This series of workshops are designed for  garden organizers and educators, where national and local garden experts are brought together to discuss topics related to community-based food production. Scholarships are available: Deadline Jan. 25!  

 

February 19: Join the Burlington food council for a potluck and discussion of future projects. 6:00-8:00pm, at 28 Crombie Street in Burlington. More information, 

 

February 21: Learn the basics of composting with Mike Ather at Gardeners Supply in Williston. This free event is part of the Lunch & Learn series beginning at noon.

 

February 23: Learn how to build inspiring gardens for children with Charlotte Albers at Burlington's Gardeners Supply from 9:30-11:00. Enjoy a visual tour and get tips on child friendly plants to grow. Seminar fee is $10, and pre-registration is required by calling (802) 660-3505.

 

February 26: The Art of Growing Food 6:30-8:00 pm at the Davis Auditorium, Medical Center Campus in Burlington. Join Ellen Ecker Ogden, author of The Complete Kitchen Garden for a slide presentation and lecture. This is a free event offered by Community Health Improvement at Fletcher Allen. Pre-registration is required by calling (802)847-2278 or online 

 

February: Registration is open for the 12 day Permaculture Design Certification Course at Yestermorrow design/build school, course begins March 17. More info 

 

SAVE THE DATE:
April 27:
Day in the Dirt!  Teams of volunteers get their hands dirty with community and school garden projects all over Burlington then gather for a celebratory BBQ and prizes. Contact
Jess at (802) 861-4769 for more info or to sponsor a team.    

 

The VCGN Bulletin provides garden-based news, resources, and events for community, school, and neighborhood gardeners and garden organizers all over the state on a monthly basis. For more frequent updates and a fun way to post your own news, garden photos, videos, and events, check us out on  Facebook and  Twitter.

We welcome comments and suggestions for the VCGN Bulletin. Send your garden news and events to share with our growing network of more than 1,500 school and community gardeners all over the state. Please include a web page link to help direct readers to the information source.

Since 2001, Friends of Burlington Gardens has worked with community and school groups to help start, sustain and grow gardens, building strong local food systems and vibrant educational sites. We are changing our name to the Vermont Community Garden Network, which has been the name of our statewide program since 2006. The name change reflects our mission to support the hundreds of garden communities across the state. This means more resources, technical assistance, grants, training and networking opportunities that meet the growing needs of local garden leaders. Meanwhile, our established local programs will continue to provide fun, hands-on garden education for youth and adults in Burlington and offer models for the rest of the state and beyond.

For more information, visit our web site or contact us at:

12 North St. Suite 5
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 861-4769

We'd love to hear from you!
Jess Hyman, Executive Director
Libby Weiland, Program Manager
Ann Pearce, Admin/Bookkeeper
Denise Quick, Community Teaching Garden Instructor
Hannah Aitken, Newsletter Editor, Events and Communications Intern

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