Vermont Community Garden Network 
January 2016 Newsletter
The community and school garden movement in Vermont is growing!  There are nearly 400 community-based gardens in the Green Mountain State, and this year we've already heard from many more groups looking to grow food in their neighborhoods, at workplaces, schools, and housing and social service sites.  We are grateful for the opportunity to help them with planning and to connect them to other inspiring garden leaders.

We recently launched a new tool to learn more about the people and gardens who benefit from VCGN's programs and activities around the state. Developed by the fine folks at the UVM Center for Rural Studies, this annual survey will help us better meet the needs of Vermont's garden communities. The results so far are fascinating! For example, just 20 respondents representing community and school gardens report that these sites serve 3,311 people on a total of nearly 3 acres, with the majority of the food going to household consumption, school cafeterias, for education, and to food shelves. Individual community gardeners reported growing an average of $488 worth of vegetables from their personal plots last year. Wow!

If you participated in VCGN programming in 2015, we'd love to hear from you. The survey is open until the end of this month and everyone who fills it out by the end of the day Tuesday, Jan. 19 may enter a drawing for one of five $20 gift cards from Gardener's Supply. Click here to fill out the survey.

There are many garden-related events and activities coming up.  Read on and we hope to see you soon!
- Jess, Libby, Carolina and Trish

* p.s. We recently discovered that nearly half of you are reading the VCGN newsletter on mobile devices so we've changed the format to make it easier to view. Love it? Hate it? Please let us know! Email jess@vcgn.org with your feedback.
Community & School Garden Track at the NOFA Vermont Winter Conference, UVM  
Sunday, February 14 (whole conference February 13-15)
NOFA Vermont's 34th Annual Winter Conference, "Our Soil, Our Health," is an inspiring gathering of gardeners, homesteaders, commercial organic producers, and localvores, with a weekend full of workshops, featured speakers, and lots of opportunities to connect with fellow growers and food lovers. On Sunday, February 14, VCGN will be offering our 5th annual Community and School Garden Track, a specialized series of workshops and networking events featuring dynamic garden leaders from across the state, specialists in the field, and VCGN staff. Topics include starting a garden project, permaculture in school gardens, community composting, and incorporating herbalism in community and school gardens. VCGN members get a registration discount. Click here for more info and the full line-up.
ALSO COMING UP:
  • Creating Inclusive Community Gardens Webinar - January 28, 12-1pm - free webinar with New England Grassroots Environment Fund (NEGEF), Class Action, and VCGN, featuring garden groups from across New England. Learn More
     
  • Green Thumbs at Work Garden Grants - Application deadline: Jan. 29. The Vermont Department of Health and VCGN, in partnership with Charlie Nardozzi, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, and Gardener's Supply, are offering grants for small businesses to establish workplace food gardens for their employees. Learn More
     
  • Gardens For Learning Grants - Application deadline Feb. 14. Gardens for Learning is a grant and technical assistance program that supports summer gardening, nutrition, and cooking programs for children at risk of summertime hunger. Learn More
     
  • ACGA Conference Proposals - Due Feb. 8. The American Community Gardening Association's 37th Annual Meeting will be held Aug. 4-7, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. It brings together hundreds of gardeners, garden leaders, and service providers from across the United States, Canada, and abroad. The conference includes hands-on workshops, presentations, poster sessions, keynote speakers, and visits to community gardens, urban agriculture sites, food security projects, and other green spaces. Learn More 
     
  • VCGN's 2016 Membership Program - Sign up or renew your membership now and get a discount on your NOFA Vermont Winter Conference registration, 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.  Learn More 

JANUARY TOOLSHED TIP
Wintertime Garden Gatherings: As the green of our gardens finally get buried in snow (or not!) many of us search for ways to stay connected to the growing we love and to the fellow gardeners we miss. This month's Toolshed Tip is full of ideas for surrounding ourselves with green through the winter months - like hosting a shoots and sprouts planting party, organizing a seed swap, and joining a learning community. Read the full tip here.

HELP GROW GARDENS, GARDENERS, AND GARDEN LEADERS
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  
Vermont Community Garden Network | 802-861-4769 
12 North St., Suite 3  | Burlington VT 05401 

Copyleft 2016. Please share.