Plant Hope. Grow Minds. Harvest Happiness.
Growing beans - and happiness - at the Green Acres Housing Gardens For Learning site in Barre.

At a time when much is uncertain, one thing we know without doubt is that growing food together has the power to nourish and connect us. I take great comfort in the strength and resilience that emerges from the state's community and school gardens and I'm grateful for the work that we and many others do every day to feed, empower, and engage people of all ages. Read on to learn about senior and veterans gardening programs, how you can help save the pollinators, a timely workshop on soil health and growing nutrient dense food, a popcorn tradition in Westminster, and more! And remember to be kind, listen and learn from each other, and DIG IN!
~ Jess Hyman, Executive Director
The Vermont Community Garden Network is growing a healthier Vermont by helping people of all ages access the space and resources to grow their own food and connect with each other. We need your help now more than ever! Please click here to make a fall donation to grow more gardens, gardeners, and garden leaders. Thank you.

HANDS in the Dirt
Feeding and connecting seniors and veterans 

This year, we expanded our partnership with HANDS (Helping And Nurturing Diverse Seniors) for senior and veterans gardening programs at five sites: Archibald Neighborhood Garden in the Old North End of Burlington, Ethan Allen Residence and Thayer House in the New North End of Burlington, Canal Street Veterans Housing in Winooski, and St. Michael's College in Colchester. Programming ranged from workshops on cooking with fresh garden produce, to intergenerational gardening, to weekly planting, tending, and harvesting fresh vegetables. Check out this video by Megan Humphrey of HANDS from one of the veterans gardening sites. Other partners in this important work include Burlington Parks Recreation and Waterfront, Burlington Veterans Administration, Camp Johnson, Committee on Temporary Shelter, St. Michael's College, Garden Expert Charlie Nardozzi, and Chef Robin Burnett, with funding from City Market, the Forrest and Frances Lattner Foundation, and the Vermont Community Foundation. Thanks to support from the UVM Medical Center Community Health Investment Fund, we're looking forward to continuing this work with seniors and at more housing sites in 2017! 
You can help solve the pollinator problem!

Wild for Pollinators is a new collaboration of the Vermont Community Garden Network, The Intervale Center, and to
raise awareness of the importance of pollinators and promote the creation of more pollinator habitat across Vermont. We are encouraging schools, businesses, gardeners, farmers, and homeowners to preserve permanent wild spaces for pollinator-friendly habitat or to create landscapes and/or container gardens with plants and gardening practices that benefit pollinators.  
High Bionutrient Crop Production Workshop  
for gardeners, homesteaders, and farmers
PART 1: Saturday, Nov. 19 at Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier
Saturday, March 18 at Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier

Do you want to grow more nutritious and delicious food? Are you looking to increase yields and grow pest free crops? Join us for a two-part training with lifelong organic farmer Dan Kittredge, founder of the Bionutrient Food Association, who will help connect the dots between soil health, plant health, and human health. This workshop is for gardeners, farmers, homesteaders, and others to learn how to mobilize your soil biology to improve plant and crop health. The two-day workshop is designed to teach essential information in the fall and action steps in the spring.  
The two-part workshop is only $200.The registration deadline is Friday, Nov. 11. Click here to learn more about the workshop and register.   
Community Teaching Garden Photo Exhibit & Sale Great gifts for any occasion
We have a few photos left for sale from VCGN's "Growing Food, Growing Community" exhibit featuring images from the Community Teaching Garden taken by Dan Daniel and Cristina Clarimon-Alinder.

The framed archival-quality prints are $45-$85 and available for purchase at the VCGN Office, 12 North St., Burlington. All proceeds from art sales benefit the Community Teaching Garden Scholarship Fund. For more info, visit or call (802) 861-4769. 
Garden Spotlight
 Growing and Harvesting Popcorn  
An annual tradition at Westminster Schools
Each year, students at Westminster Community Schools grow, harvest, dry, and hull popcorn. Third graders do the planting in the spring and come back as fourth graders for harvest in the fall. They estimate how many ears their harvest will yield by looking at the rows and the ears per plant and they run experiments to determine the best and most "poppable" popcorn. Then the entire school enjoys freshly popped popcorn at snack time on Wednesdays during the winter!

about this fun - and educational - annual tradition in a guest blog post from Irene Canaris.

What Makes Popcorn Pop?
Each kernel contains a single droplet of water inside a tiny circle of soft starch. As the kernel heats up, the water begins to expand. Around 212 degrees, the water turns into steam and changes the starch inside each kernel into a super-hot gelatinous goop. The kernel continues to heat to about 347 degrees and the pressure inside the grain will reach 135 pounds per square inch before finally bursting the hull open!
  We Need Your Help! 

We need your support to meet the growing needs of Vermont's gardeners and garden communities. These vibrant sites feed tens of thousands of people and are rich social and educational sites!  Please make a donation today to help more people grow food for themselves, their families, and neighbors.  Thank you!

Since 2001, the Vermont Community Garden Network (formerly known as Friends of Burlington Gardens) has worked with hundreds of community and school groups to start, sustain, and grow gardens, building strong local food systems and vibrant educational sites.    
Contact us - we'd love to hear from you!

Jess Hyman , Executive Director
Libby Weiland, Statewide Network Coordinator 
Carolina Lukac, Garden Education Manager
Trish Laraja, Office Manager
Jennifer Fuller, Office Administrator
Lily Myers, Wild For Pollinators Program Intern
Renee Hamblin, Communications & Outreach Intern 
802-861-4769 |

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