Vermont Community Garden Network 
July 2016 Newsletter
Summer is here, and all the Vermont Community Garden Network's programs are in full swing! The gardens are bursting with color, vibrant plant growth, and an abundance of food. New gardeners and those who have been growing for many years are enjoying the sunshine in the sky, hands in the dirt, and the community cultivated in the gardens. Read on for garden resources and opportunities, VCGN News, and upcoming events.

We're 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.  Please click here to make a donation that grows more gardens, gardeners, and garden leaders!

- Jess, Libby, Carolina, Trish, Kate, Kaila, Emma, and Bowen

Garden Spotlight:
Aris Solutions, White River Junction 
 
ARIS Solutions, a non-profit fiscal agent and financial services corporation in White River Junction, turned the vacant lot behind their office building into a gathering place and food garden for employees.

In a rural state like Vermont we don't often think of gardening on concrete or in small spaces like our more urban counterparts.  But at workplaces across the state employees are looking for ways to grow vegetables and fruits around the edges of parking lots, along entrance ramps, in vacant lots, and even indoors!  Nearly half of the companies and organizations awarded this year's Green Thumbs at Work grant are transforming their limited concrete landscapes into peaceful and productive gardens for their employees.
Read the full article.
Garden Education Programs
VCGN Intern Bowen harvests cilantro with a young Family Room gardener.
Summer Garden Education Round Up

Summer is here, and VCGN's programs are in full swing! The gardens are finally bursting with color and vibrant plant growth. Gardeners who have just learned to plant and gardeners who have been growing for many years are enjoying the sunshine in the sky, hands in the dirt, and the community cultivated in the garden. Click here to read more about the dozens - and often more than a hundred - Family Room gardeners who grow food, play, eat, and learn together; the seniors who garden with preschoolers at the Archibald Neighborhood Garden and those who share stories, coffee, and snacks together in the gardens at Ethan Allen Residence; and the adults who gain valuable growing skills and connections in the Community Teaching Gardens.
 
stateResources & Opportunities 
 
July Toolshed Tip: Meeting the Mid-summer Challenge
Mid-summer can be at once the most rewarding and the most challenging part of community gardening. It's when the reason for the season really kicks in: plants are more robust and filling up your garden with green, your harvests are beginning to be more substantial, and your early season work is really beginning to pay off. This is also the time for vacations, camp, and the general summer play that pulls many away from the gardens for periods of time. In these gaps, there is the greatest likelihood for gardens to become over-grown and favorite places for pests and diseases that can mean a swift end to this happy time of healthy gardens. Faced with these facts of gardening life, this month's Toolshed brings you some some tips for keeping your garden on the up-and-up during this busy time
Read the full Toolshed Tip.

Garden Grants
  • Vermont Housing & Conservation Board's Food Access & Affordable Housing Initiative has up to$15,000 in funding available for food access programming at affordable housing sites. This initiative seeks to support new collaborations between affordable housing and food access organizations to assist residents in eating more fresh healthy foods. Eligible pilot programming includes cooking and nutrition classes, community meals, local food buying clubs, community gardening, edible landscaping, etc. The application deadline is Friday, July 15. More info. 

 

 

  • The ACGA annual conference brings together hundreds of individuals from across the United States, Canada, and abroad who are engaged in all aspects of gardening and greening. Scholarships and volunteer discounts available. More info. 
Events Events
  • Old North End Community Garden Meeting: 6pm Wednesday, July 13. There is a possibility for a new community garden right by the Bright Street Co-op on Archibald Street. The Champlain Housing Trust has kindly offered a space, a shed, and water hook-up. There are two thriving community gardens nearby (Riverside Neighborhood Garden and Archibald Neighborhood Garden). However, both of these gardens fill up quickly. In order to start the new community garden, we need to be sure that people want more space to grow food. If you are interested in learning more about the potential garden, join us from 6-7:30pm this Wednesday, July 13 at 294 North Winooski Ave. #120. Enter by the bike racks near the back of the building. Snacks will be provided! If you can't make the meeting, please fill out this brief survey.
  • VCGN is honored to be the featured nonprofit at the Vermont Brewers Festival July 15 & 16 in Burlington. We will be staffing the water tent and selling water bottles and tickets for the Beer Garden Raffle, with prizes from the state's best brewers and the businesses who love them. Tickets and more info at: http://vcgn.org/beer-garden  
  • SAVE THE DATE: The Champlain Valley Fair is coming up Aug. 26-Sept. 4 in Essex Junction. Home, community, school and youth gardeners can enter vegetables, fruit, flowers, herbs, and full-garden displays in the Garden Center competitions. This is a chance to share your garden bounty and win cash prizes - and glory! Click here for the competition rules and entry forms. 
 
VCGN VCGN News

Garden building day at Canal Street Veterans Housing in Winooski.

Veterans and Senior Garden Programs get a Boost from the Vermont Community Foundation 

VCGN and Helping and Nurturing Diverse Seniors (HANDS) recently received a grant from the Vermont Community Foundation's Innovations and Collaborations program to increase food security, improve physical and mental health, and enhance social connections for seniors.

The HANDS in the Dirt initiative includes garden and cooking activities at Ethan Allen Residence, the Archibald Neighborhood Garden, and Thayer Commons in Burlington and gardening activities for older veterans at Canal Street Veterans Housing in Winooski and St. Michael's College in Colchester. The veterans' programming is in partnership with garden expert Charlie Nardozzi, the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS), St. Michael's College Organic Garden, and Veterans Administration Burlington

The veterans garden program programs got some special attention last week with a feature article by Mark Tarnacki of Saint Michael's College. Read the article here.
 
We're going Wild For Pollinators!

KidsGardening.org, the Intervale Center, the Vermont Community Garden Network, and other non- and for- profit partners are collaborating to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators and create more pollinator and beneficial insect habitat across Vermont. This summer, Wild For Pollinators will launch a demonstration garden at the Intervale and encourage businesses, homeowners, and schools in Chittenden County to create or preserve uncultivated pollinator habitats and/or create of landscape or container plantings with native, pollinator-friendly plants. Keep your eye out for more info coming soon and catch the buzz! 
 
Donate
  We Need Your Help! 

GROW GARDENS, GARDENERS & GARDEN LEADERS
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:
Jess Hyman , Executive Director
Libby Weiland, Statewide Network Coordinator 
Carolina Lukac, Garden Education Specialist 
Trish Deschamps, Office Manager
Kate Eiseman, Community Teaching Garden Apprentice
Kaila Pennock, Community Teaching Garden Apprentice
Emma Greenawalt, Garden Education Intern
Bowen Spottswood, Garden Education & Food Access Intern (SHECP)  
802-861-4769 info@vcgn.org | www.vcgn.org

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