July 2014 
Photo from Calahan Community Garden, Burlington
"Dirty hands, iced tea, garden fragrances thick in the air and a blanket of color before me, who could ask for more?"-Bev Adams, Mountain Gardening

The garden season is in full swing and the state's gardens are producing a wealth of peas, greens, radish, baby carrots, and even some early tomatoes! Vermont has more than 300 community and school gardens that feed, educate, and connect tens of thousands of people of all ages. Over the past few weeks, VCGN has been touring the state to visit our garden partners. It is so inspiring to see all the innovation and celebration flourishing in these productive sites. We look forward to sharing stories and photos from these gardens with you soon. In the meantime, read on for lots of garden news and a fantastic new donation incentive from VCGN.
In This Issue
Senior Gardening Program at Ethan Allen Residence
Beer Garden Special Donation Incentive
Tips for Garden Leaders
Donations for Garden Groups
Burlington Garden Tours
Save the Date: Workshops and Garden Potluck
Join VCGN in Chicago!
Ask a Master Gardener
Get Your Woodchuck's Guide


New Senior Gardening Program at
 Ethan Allen Residence   


Lloyd wastes no time getting seeds planted in the new raised beds. 

By Colin Reid 


VCGN staff and volunteers, in collaboration with HANDS- Helping And Nurturing Diverse Seniors, spent a wonderful morning at the Ethan Allen Residence in Burlington's New North End recently. The new growing space is part of a senior gardening project, made possible by a New England Grassroots Environment Fund SEED Grant and was guided by Dennis Filion, the maintenance supervisor at Ethan Allen.


Volunteers got to work quickly and each person found their place of comfort in the building process. One person took measurements and marked boards with a pencil, and just as fast Dennis was on saw duty, cutting them to length and passing them on to the construction crew. The sides of the planting beds were built separately and when there were no more pieces to cut all hands took part in the final assembly. Once built and placed in the desired area, the beds were filled with compost provided by Green Mountain Compost and the Ethan Allen Residence.


The garden beds will grow produce to be used in the kitchen and will help support a healthy diet. The garden program is a project of HANDS with Maggie Callahan of VCGN  hosting weekly workshops for the seniors.


Vermont Beer Garden


Thanks to the generosity of the Vermont Brewers Festival and many of the state's best brewers, when you donate to VCGN over the next week, you'll be entered in a drawing for tickets to the SOLD OUT  Vermont Brewers Festival and more great prizes, including private tours, merchandise, and lots of goodies!  


From July 7-14, everyone who donates $25 or more to the Vermont Community Garden Network is entered in a drawing. (Some restrictions apply.) Click here to make your donation and be entered in the drawing. 


VT Beer Garden Prize list:
  • VT 100 Beer Trail Bundle (value: $320)
    • Private tour and tasting for 4 at The Alchemist in Waterbury
    • Gift bag, including 2 glasses, T-shirt, hat, key chain opener, stickers and more from Lawson's Finest Liquids in Warren
    • Hoodie, hat, T-shirt and koozie from Prohibition Pig in Waterbury
    • Dinner for 2 at the home of Trapp Lager, Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe
The small print:
  • Each $25 donation counts as 1 entry for the drawing. You may contribute as many times as you like; the more you donate, the greater your odds for the prize drawing.
  • All donations of $25 or more received by midnight July 14 count toward the drawing.
  • Prize winners must be 21 and must show valid ID to claim the prize.
  • All prizes to be picked up in Burlington.


The Toolshed: Tips for Garden Leaders

Work together this month to keep your gardens healthy, clean and growing. 

By Libby Weiland  

Your July tip:

Mid-summer can be at once the most rewarding and the most challenging part of community gardening. This is the time for vacations, summer camp, and the general summer play that pulls many away from the gardens for periods of time. Here are few things you can do to keep your garden on the up-and-up this busy month:
  • Have compassion (for others and yourself).  
  • Be available or find someone who can be.  
  • Lay down the law when needed.  
  • Enjoy it!


* To view a detailed version of this Toolshed Tip click here.   


Donations for Gardens  


Friends of VCGN have kindly donated gardening supplies. We have the following items that are looking for homes in community or school gardens: 

  • Two compost containers (one collapsible wire bin, one Soil Maker plastic bin)
  • A two-piece wire trellis 
  • One gardening bench seat 
  • One watering can 
  • Drip irrigation supplies 

These items are available to community and school garden groups. Please contact us at (802) 861-4769 if you can put them to good use! They can be picked up in Burlington.


 Community and School Garden Tours 


Summer Garden Coordinator Amy Lechance shows the walking tour group the gardens at the Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes Elementary

By Colin Reid 


Burlington's community and school gardens had visitors from around the country- and world- last month as part of the 2014 conference of the Association for the Study of Food and Society and the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society held at the University of Vermont.  
A quick stop to look out over the Ethan Allen fields and hear about the New Farms for New Americans program from Dan Cahill.


On June 18 VCGN, Burlington Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront, and Local Motion led a 12 mile bike tour that gave participants a unique view of the city as well as a chance to see eight of the city's  gardens. In addition to a wealth of information from Burlington Land Steward Dan Cahill and VCGN Director Jess Hyman, the group visited with Bonnie Hooper, who is a site coordinator at the Winooski Valley Parks District Community Garden at Ethan Allen Homestead, and from Bonnie Acker, school garden champion at the Integrated Arts Academy at HO Wheeler.


A few days later, on June 21, the first day of summer was celebrated with another community and school garden tour, led by VCGN Director Jess Hyman, this time on foot through the city's Old North End.  With visits to the Archibald and Riverside neighborhood gardens, the Myrtle Street Avant Garden and the gardens at The Integrated Arts Academy at H.O. Wheeler and Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes Elementary, the group had plenty to look at and talk about. Garden Coordinators Robin Burnett, Faye Conte, and Amy Lachance, as well as garden founder Maggie Standly, and garden champion Bonnie Acker talked with the group about a wide range of topics varying from the broad ways of how to go about starting a community garden, to the subtle steps that can be taken to attract pollinator insects to your plants.


Here's what a few of the tour participants had to say: 


"When people have an outlet to influence and experience their environment and community, the effect is tangible. The community and school gardens in the Burlington provide clear evidence. Everyone should be granted the opportunity to make a difference and these programs will influence the lives of future leaders, I cannot think of a better way to make an impact."

- Kayla Leyden, Alumni, Christopher Newport University


"Seeing Burlington via the bike tour was an excellent way to introduce me to the diverse aspects of the community. I was impressed by the seemingly multiple levels of cross-collaboration between the non-profit community, activist community, and the city government in developing such a strong network of food production and community gathering spaces. The guides were honest and shared the struggles and triumphs genuinely. I felt immediately connected to the community and excited and inspired to go back home and see my community in a whole new way. Thank you for taking such care in organizing and informational, fun, thought provoking tour. It was one of the highlights of my visit to Burlington!"

 -Michelle Kaiser, Assistant Professor, Ohio State University; Franklinton Gardens Board Member.





Gardeners LOVE potlucks!
Mark Your Calendar

Garden Basics Workshops: 

BACG Potluck:

, Aug. 17, BACG (Burlington Area Community Gardens / Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront) will be hosting the Annual Summer Potluck. The event will be held at the Waterfront Shelter from 5:30-7:30pm.  Bring a dish to share and your own plate and silverware.  All gardeners and garden friends are welcome! Click here to view event location.


Come with VCGN to Chicago  


The American Community Gardening Association's Annual Conference is Aug. 7-10 in Chicago. The early-bird registration deadline is July 15 and there are scholarships and home stays available. The conference includes workshops, tours, and the opportunity to meet fine community and school garden folks from around the country. More info and registration at





Ask A Master Gardener


UVM Extension Master Gardener has a new resource. In addition to call-in questions (1-800-639-2230 M-F 9-12) you can now submit your home horticulture questions online. Check it out at: Ask A Master Gardener 




Woodchuck's Guide To Gardening
- Now Available Through VCGN

The Woodchuck's Guide To Gardening by Ron Krupp is an entertaining, common- sense organic gardening book from a master of both gardening and storytelling.
The Woodchuck's Guide reconnects us to the four gardening cycles of the year - from spade to seed to grain to bread-through anecdotes and history, poetry and wit, politics, stories, and lots of down-to-earth organic gardening tips.
  • The book is only $18 and Ron is generously donating half of the proceeds to VCGN.
  • To get your copy of this wonderful garden resource, call the VCGN office at (802) 861-4769, or email info@vcgn.org.


* And stay tuned for The Woodchuck's Return to Gardening, due out later this year. *


See our website for more Garden Grants and Garden Events from around the state.

The VCGN Bulletin provides garden-based news, resources, and events for community, school, and neighborhood gardeners and garden leaders all over the state on a monthly basis. For more frequent updates and a fun way to post your own news, garden photos, videos, and events, check us out on  Facebook and  Twitter.

We welcome your comments and suggestions. Send your garden news and events to share with our growing network of more than 2,000 school and community gardeners all over the state. Please include a web page link to help direct readers to the information source.

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.

For more information, visit our website or contact us at:

12 North St. Suite 5
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 861-4769

We'd love to hear from you!
Jess Hyman, Executive Director
Libby Weiland, Program Manager
Ann Pearce, Volunteer Coordinator/Admin
Denise Quick, Community Teaching Garden Instructor
Colin Reid, Communications Intern/ Newsletter Editor
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