Vermont Community Garden Network
February 2015 Newsletter
 "We are exploring together. We are cultivating a garden together, backs to the sun.
The question is a hoe in our hands and we are digging beneath the hard and
crusty surface to the rich humus of our lives."
~Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation

The snow is falling but we're dreaming of a bright spring. We hope your year is off to a warm start!

~ Jess, Libby, Denise, and Livia
4th Annual Community and School Garden Track
Feb. 15 at the NOFA-VT Winter Conference!
VCGN is partnering with the Northeast Organic Farming Association-Vermont (NOFA-VT) for our 4th annual Community and School Garden Track at NOFA-VT's Winter Conference, held Feb 14-16 in Burlington. 

Whether you're looking to start a community-based garden, or already have one in place and want to incorporate learning or volunteer programs, we can help. The specialized garden track as well as our annual networking event and garden showcase is Sunday, Feb 15. 


VCGN Workshops include:


Community-based Gardening: Getting Started, for individuals and groups looking to start community-based gardens


Learning in the Garden: Curriculum Integration, focused on learning in school gardens


Learning in the Garden: Adult Teaching Gardens, for groups interested in starting teaching gardens or incorporating adult garden learning into existing gardens


Garden Organizer Roundtable: Volunteers, designed for garden organizers, with tips and discussion on volunteer development


Online registration for the Winter Conference ends Feb. 4. Save an additional $15 for up to 4 people in your garden group by becoming a VCGN member today!  

(see below for details) 

For a detailed schedule and description of the VCGN Community and School Garden Track click here.
Check out the full Winter Conference schedule here.
Become a VCGN Member Today
Join our growing network of community and school gardens!

VCGN members receive free seeds and materials, gain access to funding and technical support, and receive discounts for workshops and conferences - including the 2015 NOFA-VT Winter Conference.


Any community or school based garden is eligible to become a member with membership fees based on garden group size and structure. For more information on how to sign up and membership eligibility, visit our website.


Garden Spotlight: VNA Family Room


The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) is a non-profit agency that provides health services to individuals and families. Operated by the VNA Family Room in Burlington's Old North End, the Family Play Program uses outdoor education and gardening to promote parent-child play and cross-cultural relationships. The VNA Family Room Garden is at Winooski Valley Park District's Ethan Allen Homestead. Individual family plots, children's gardens, and multicultural plots are accessible to anyone who wishes to use these services and participate in their multitude of Family Room programs. 


VNA programs are free of charge to all participants and access and inclusion are key aspects of the garden program's success. The Family Room provides transportation to the gardens from the Old and New North End as well as child care which serves breakfast, snack and lunch.


The VNA Family Room Garden  is one of the many garden programs featured in VCGN's Garden Showcase at 1pm on Sunday, Feb. 15, during the Community and School Garden Track at the NOFA-VT Winter Conference..

February Toolshed: Tips for Garden Leaders


By Libby Weiland 

Many New England gardeners mark February on their calendars as a time to cozy up with favorite seed catalogs and begin planning what to grow in the garden this year. For community and school garden leaders it's also time to prepare for all the people who will be growing in your gardens. 


Whether you're bringing in returning gardeners and volunteers, or reaching out to new ones, you want to be ready when they inquire.  This first point of contact is a great opportunity to gather important information about your soon-to-be gardeners and volunteers, inform them about your garden, and get their permission as needed.


Some of the details you may want to include in your Garden Application Packet:

  • Collect basic information about the individual
  • Learn about each participants' skills, interests, and special needs
  • Think about your garden's impact
  • Gain permission and waive liability
  • Include information about your garden and what to expect
  • Think about anything else you might want to know

Read the full February Toolshed Tip here.  

Since 2001, the Vermont Community Garden Network (formerly known as Friends of Burlington Gardens) has worked with community and school groups to start, sustain and grow gardens, building strong local food systems and vibrant educational sites.

The monthly VCGN Newsletter provides garden-based news, resources, and events to more than 2,600 gardeners and garden leaders all over the state.

We welcome your comments and suggestions. Send your garden news and events to For even more current information and updates, connect to VCGN and other gardens on Facebook and Twitter.

We'd love to hear from you!

Jess Hyman, Executive Director
Libby Weiland, Program Manager
Denise Quick, Community Teaching Garden Instructor
Livia Donicova, Communications Intern/Newsletter Editor
In This Issue


Be a part of 
the state's vibrant community and school garden network.
We need YOUR help to keep growing gardens, gardeners, and garden leaders.
Thank you!  
Welcome new VCGN board members!

We are pleased to announce the addition of two new board members for 2015:


Beth Cullen
of Root Consulting


Joe McHugh
of Gardener's Supply Company


In addition, we have added a new intern to our team, UVM student Livia Donicova is our Communications and Events Inter for the Spring semester. Welcome Livia! 


Register for 2015 Community Garden Class!

The Community Teaching Garden (CTG) is a fun, hands-on, adult beginner organic vegetable gardening course in Burlington. Participants learn how to plant, cultivate, harvest, and preserve fresh vegetables in a fun and supportive learning environment.
Classes are held twice a week from May through September at two locations, the Ethan Allen Homestead
and Tommy Thompson Community Garden at the Intervale.
Read more and register here.
Garden News From Around the Country:
The World Economic Forum met this year during Jan. 21-24 in Switzerland. In preparation to feeding a growing population, they came up with a "New Vision for Agriculture."

PBS is revamping their Victory Gardens show. The Perennial Plate highlights food heroes around the U.S!



SEED (revolving deadline) - New England Grassroots Environment Fund (NEGEF) is offering grants of up to $1,000  for community-based  projects. More info.


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Vermont Community Garden Network | 802-861-4769 |