Vermont Community Garden Network 
April 2016 Newsletter
Spring is here and it's time to get our hands in the dirt! In Burlington, we're gearing up for the Dirty Weekend and all over the state, community and school groups are kicking off the growing season by signing up new gardeners, getting sites ready for planting, and hosting spring kickoffs and work parties. Read on for  resources and opportunities for garden groupsevents, and VCGN news.

Happy Gardening!
- Jess, Libby, Carolina, Trish, and Aaron  

stateGarden Resources & Opportunities 
April Toolshed Tip
VCGN Statewide Network Coordinator Libby Weiland has some great tips for engaging volunteers in your garden. Get these volunteers off to a good start by...
  • Setting up systems for effective communication
  • Orienting volunteers
  • Clarifying expectations
Read the full Toolshed Tip. 

Grow It! workshops
Join community and school garden leaders from around your region this spring to learn more about recruiting and engaging gardeners and volunteers. Grow It! workshops with VCGN and regional garden expert Charlie Nardozzi will be held in Bennington, Montpelier, Proctor, Sheffield, South Burlington, Thetford, and Westminster. Learn more and register.
VCGN's Membership Program  - Sign up or renew your membership now and get a discount on Grow It workshops, among other special benefits, including a discount to Gardener's Supply, half-price ACGA membership, and a snazzy sign for your garden. Visit our website or call us at (802) 861-4769 for more details. 

LocalBurlington Programs
A Celebration of Soils, Spring, and Community Spirit! 

After three years as a popular volunteer day to give Burlington's community and school gardens a spring boost, the Vermont Community Garden Network and Green Mountain Compost have expanded Day in the Dirt to a full weekend of activities. Join us for these fun events:
DIRT BALL DJ dance party and karaoke contest April 29 at Skinny Pancake in Burlington. Tickets are just $20 and proceeds support VCGN's work to grow gardens that feed and connect communities all over Vermont. And it's not just about the gardens, it's also about the gardeners - join in and mix and mingle with folks who care about the future of our food system and love to get their hands in the dirt. Sponsored by Skinny Pancake, Premier Entertainment & Events,, Lake Point Property Management, Citizen Cider, and Grey Owl Design. Tickets on sale now.

DAY IN THE DIRT April 30 at 16 community and school garden sites all over Burlington. Join your neighbors to give the city's gardens a spring boost. Now in its 4th year, Day in the Dirt is made possible by more than 200 volunteers, Gardener's Supply Company, Green Mountain Compost,  Community Development and Applied Economics (CDAE) at UVM, Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront, the Intervale Center, and Homegrown Hero team sponsors University of Vermont Medical Center, City Market, and ArtsRiot; Community Cultivator team sponsors Burton Snowboards,, Red Wagon Plants, Redstone,

COMPOSTFEST May 1 at Green Mountain Compost in Williston. This all-ages event features workshops, tours, seed starting station, kids activities, compost sale, food trucks, and more! Sponsored by Healthy Living Market & Cafe , Sun Common , City Market , Gardener's Supply , Vermont Edible Landscapes , and Seven Days.

Last chance for Community Teaching Garden registration
Want to grow your own fresh vegetables, but not sure where to start? Join the  Community Teaching Garden - a 22-week beginner organic gardening course at two sites in Burlington. The class follows the rhythm of the growing season from May 9 through October 3. We have a few spots left in this dynamic program and scholarships are available. Register online .

Events More Events


Gardens for Learning Program Sites 
We are happy to announce the 2016 Gardens for Learning grant recipients:
  • Boys and Girls Club of Rutland County
  • Family Center of Washington County
  • Green Acres Apartments
  • Highgate Apartments
  • Highgate Public Library
  • Isle La Motte School District
  • Orange County Parent Child Center
  • Richford Health Center
  • St. Johnsbury School
  • Upper Valley Haven
VCGN's Carolina Lukac welcomed each program site into the Gardens for Learning grant program during the annual Spring Retreat on April 16 at Highgate Housing in Barre. The gathering was an opportunity for coordinators to network, exchange resources, receive their grant award packages (checks and a cooking and gardening supply box), and begin planning their summer programs. Carolina will continue supporting the site coordinators throughout the growing season with technical assistance, site visits, and ongoing resource sharing.

To learn more about the Gardens for Learning program and its impacts, please visit our

2016 Green Thumbs at Work Grant Winners 
T he Green Thumbs at Work grant program is a collaboration between VCGN and the Vermont Department of Health , in partnership with Charlie Nardozzi,  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont , and  Gardener's Supply Company. Congratulations to this diverse group of businesses and organizations!  
  • Abel's Homestead Design, LLC in Hyde Park
  • ARIS Solutions in White River Junction
  • Community Restorative Justice Center in St. Johnsbury
  • Lamoille Restorative Center in Hyde Park
  • Morristown After School Program in Morristown
  • Orange County Parent Child Center in Tunbridge
  • Putney Food Co-op in Putney
  • Rural Edge in Lyndonville
  • Town of Killington Offices in Killington
  • Upper Valley Food Co-op in White River Junction
We need your support to meet the growing needs of Vermont's garden communities. These gardens 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
Aaron DaCosta, Communications & Events Intern  
Vermont Community Garden Network | 802-861-4769 
12 North St., Suite 3  | Burlington VT 05401 

Copyleft 2016. Please share.