It's harvest time and along with a bounty of fresh food, gardeners all over the state have stories to share. This month's newsletter includes fun recipes, tips for workplace gardens, ideas for what to do with all those extra zucchini, and an opportunity for YOU to join other home, community, and school gardeners at the Champlain Valley Fair. Read on, be nourished, and share the bounty!
~ Jess Hyman, Executive Director
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VCGN NEWS - EVENTS - RESOURCES FOR GARDENS
BIG THANKS to everyone who donated to our spring/summer fundraising appeal!
We reached our goal for new and increased donations and earned an additional $5,000 matching grant from the Sustainable Future Fund.
This support is crucial to our work helping Vermonters of all ages and backgrounds grow food for themselves, their families, and their communities.
VCGN PUBLISHES "A TASTE OF COMMUNITY"
"A TASTE OF COMMUNITY" is a little book designed to educate your mind, open your heart, and fill your belly. It contains stories from a diverse group of people who have found joy in being part of COMMUNITY gardens. The book includes a few of their favorite recipes for you to TASTE and lots of blank pages so you can add your own. Created by VCGN Intern
, the book contains stories from gardeners at
St. John's Hal
Community Teaching Garden
Family Room Garden
North Avenue Coop
Canal Street Veterans Housing
. We are grateful to all the gardeners who shared their stories and recipes, and to our generous sponsors: Kiss The Cook, Lucky Next Door, SAP! Maple, HANDS, and PawPrint & Mail. The book is $15 and all proceeds benefit VCGN's garden education programs.
Hear the gardener's own voices
and listen to more stories from Canal Street Veterans Housing, Family Room Garden, Ethan Allen Residence, Community Teaching Garden, North Avenue Coop Mobile Home Park, and Beacon Apartments in the
"Why Community Gardens?" video series
VIEW VIDEOS HERE!
WE HAVE BURLAP!
ack by popular demand and thanks to the fine folks at Keurig Green Mountain, we have a new batch of burlap coffee sacks. The 24"x36" bags are great for tidying up your garden rows, sheet mulching in preparation for new garden space, and lots of other garden and craft uses. Bags are only $20 per bundle of 20 and you can order online and pick up at the VCGN Office in Burlington. ORDER HERE!
Resources for Garden Groups
SUMMER RECIPES FROM THE GARDENS
||Children at the NOTCH Summer Camp in Richford used a molcajete (traditional Mexican mortar and pestle) to make a fresh tomato salsa.
By Carolina Lukac
Gardens for Learning program sites have been in full swing during the months of July and August. From toddlers at the
Little Lambs Early Learning Center
in Rutland to preteens at the
NOTCH Playground Summer Cam
p in Richford, children and youth have been harvesting from their gardens and learning how to prepare healthy snacks.
for a sample of garden-inspired recipes from around the state, including
Swiss Chard Pancakes
Chickpea Oat Crackers
Calendula Cornmeal Muffins
Flower & Herb Butter.
ADVICE FROM WORKPLACE GARDENERS
By Libby Weiland
In its fourth year, VCGN's
Green Thumbs at Work
grant program provides funding and technical assistance to support the development and sustainability of employee gardens at small workplaces across Vermont. Our grantees this year include a pizza parlor, a statewide solar business, an international software development company, three rural healthcare centers, two social service organizations, and a youth theater. Along with the diversity of workplaces has come a diversity of approaches. For example, Garden team leaders at
, a youth treatment and educational support center in Chittenden County, have worked hard to make sure fellow employees have buy-in into the garden. Early meetings included drawing up "garden norms" (group guidelines) for use of the shared space based on employee feedback and encouraging input on what employees want to see planted. The group continues to use a Google spreadsheet for their watering schedule, sends tips on watering and harvesting via email, and holds regular meetings to work out any issues related to the garden. Other sites have found success with creative use of resources (
in Waterbury), fun-draising (
in Stowe), good exposure (
The Pizza Man
, Castleton Family Health
, Groundworks Collaborative
in Brattleboro), and creativity (
New England Youth Theatre
READ MORE HERE!
TOOLSHED TIP: SHARE YOUR BOUNTY
By Libby Weiland
Although this year's harvests are coming a little later in most Vermont gardens, the time of abundance is just around the bend. What better way to celebrate your piles of tomatoes and zucchini than to share the bounty! Whether it's swapping plentiful veggies with fellow gardeners, sharing tasty treats with neighbors and friends, or giving a portion of your produce to a local food shelf or community kitchen, sharing the harvest benefits everyone.
SHOW OFF YOUR PRODUCE
AT THE CHAMPLAIN VALLEY FAIR
The Champlain Valley Fair is coming up Aug. 25-Sept. 3 in Essex Junction and gardeners of all ages can enter vegetables, fruit, flowers, and preserves in the Garden Center competitions. It's easy to enter - and you can even win cash prizes! Check out the entry criteria and bring your best produce to the Robert E. Miller Expo North building at the Fairgrounds in Essex Junction between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 24. Community and school gardeners can enter individual vegetables or thematic displays, like this 2016 Judges Choice winner below: "A trip to the family garden replaces a trip to the grocery store."
As a special bonus, each youth exhibitor and an accompanying parent or guardian receive a FREE Saturday pass to the fair to attend the 1pm youth exhibit in-person judging. For the entry form and the categories and criteria, go to www.champlainvalleyfair.org/GardenCenter.html
FREE COMPOSTING WORKSHOPS
Community garden stalwarts Ron Krupp and Fred Schmidt are presenting free composting workshops in conjunction with the Chittenden Solid Waste District, 10-11:30am Aug. 26 and Sept. 9. The workshops are at Tommy Thompson Community Garden in Burlington's Intervale.
Anyone who attends the workshops can purchase a discounted compost bin from Green Mountain Compost in Williston.
The number of participants is limited to 15 per workshop.
SIGN UP HERE!
SAVE THE DATES:
SATURDAY & SUNDAY SEPT. 16 & 17:
Visit VCGN at
Grand Point North
at Waterfront Park in Burlington. We're excited to be part of Reverb's Eco-Village at the two-day music festival. Come say hi and don't forget to buy a GPN water bottle and donate your $2 token to VCGN!
TUESDAY, SEPT. 19: Open House and Pop-Up Art Sale
Join us for the Vermont Green Offices Open House at 12 North St. in Burlington from 3:30 to 6:30pm. Stop by to buy beautiful garden art prints at our Pop-Up Art Sale, enjoy yummy food and drink, and learn more about VCGN and the vibrant community of businesses in our building, including music teachers
, French translator
, solar installer
DC Energy Innovations
, community action group Cambrian Watch, SRossman Inc. Website Design, Draker Solar Properties, and
, which will have a cool IOT solar demo.
SUNDAY, OCT. 1: Garden Harvest Party
This community potluck at Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington is open to all gardeners, friends, and community members. There will be kids activities and games, music, and garden and trails tours. Bring some food to share and your own plate and utensils to reduce waste. Presented by the Vermont Community Garden Network, Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront/ Burlington Area Community Gardens, Winooski Valley Park District, VNA Family Room, and New Farms for New Americans.
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 make a donation today!
Contact us - we'd love to hear from you!
Since 2001, the Vermont Community Garden Network has worked with hundreds of community and school groups to start, sustain, and grow gardens, building strong local food systems and vibrant educational sites.
, Executive Director
Copyleft 2017. Please share.