Vermont Community Garden Network
April 2015 Newsletter
"Gardens, scholars say, are the first sign of commitment to a community. When people plant corn they are saying, let's stay here. And by their connection to the land, they are connected to one another."

~ Anne Raver

The long awaited spring is finally here! Although the ground is still frozen, there are lots of opportunities to get ready for the growing season. The spring Grow It! workshops start soon at sites all over the state, and in Burlington, it's time to sign up for the Community Teaching Garden and Day in the Dirt

We're looking forward to seeing all our garden friends!    

~ Jess, Libby, Carolina, Denise, and Livia
An Eventful March
The past month was filled with exciting events as we prepare for the spring growing season!

Thanks to all who participated in the 5th Annual Burlington Seed Swap! More than 100 garden enthusiasts exchanged seeds of many types and varieties. Big thank you to our donors and partnering organizations including: High Mowing Seeds, Burlington Permaculture, Burlington Parks, Recreation and Waterfront, Grow Team ONE, author Ron Krupp, and Friends of the Fletcher Free Library. 

VCGN also had a great time at Jr. Iron Chef VT earlier in the month. During the youth cooking competition, as the scent of delicious food and the hum of middle school and 
high school 
chefs working together filled the venue, VCGN entertained families and friends with a seed starting activity to introduce young and new gardeners to the world of seeds and planting. Congratulations to all the Jr. Iron Chef winners and participants. Check out Burlington Free Press's  coverage of the event! 
April is full of more fun garden activities and events. See the sidebar on the right for what's coming up. 
Garden Spotlight: 
Archibald Neighborhood Garden


A few simple words marked the end of a long and complicated process and an exciting start to the next chapter in the life of the Archibald Neighborhood Garden in Burlington's Old North End... "Final Resolution: Motion Passes." 

On Monday, March 23, Burlington City Council approved the purchase of the land from the VNA of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties. The next step is a public process to finalize the remediation plan, then some hard work on the site, and the garden will be back in full production this year - better than ever! 

A public meeting on the remediation plan will be held at the Integrated Arts Academy located at 6 Archibald St., in Burlington on April 8 at 6:30 PM. Come learn about the city's purchase of the property and plans to rehabilitate the site so that it can be a vibrant neighborhood garden for years to come. More info here.

Many, many thanks go out to Dan Cahill and Jesse Bridges at Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront for their diligent work over the past few years making this happen, Beverly Boget at the VNA for being an advocate for the garden since it started in 2007, the City Council Finance Committee for their thorough review, and the full City Council for their final approval. 

And of course, special thanks to all the gardeners and Grow Team ONE members past and present who make the Archibald Neighborhood garden such a special place.
Community Teaching Gardens

Registration deadline April 17!


The Community Teaching Garden is a fun, hands-on, adult beginner organic vegetable gardening course. 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:

  • Ethan Allen Homestead, Monday and Thursday evenings
  • Tommy Thompson Community Garden at the Intervale, Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings.
Once a month we have potlucks which bring together the classes and other gardener guests, and gives us a chance to share garden fresh recipes. 
With the program running for 22 weeks, there is lots of time to learn, make friends, and enjoy good food from start to finish!
To learn more about the course including fees, the Community Teaching Garden blog, photos and stories click here.
Registration deadline is slowly approaching. Register here by April 17th.    
DirtDay in the Dirt!

On May 9, 150
volunteers will work on school and community garden projects around the city to give gardens a spring boost and raise funds for the Vermont Community Garden Network.

Day in the Dirt! is very important to our garden partners to get a kick start for the growing season. B usinesses sponsor employee teams and community members sign up to work on one of the 10 garden projects. 
This event raises essential funds for VCGN to continue to support community gardens around the state. These funds are used for workshops, technical assistance, and essential gardening equipment to keep gardens growing strong in their communities. 

Click here to sign up! Registration closes April 24.

Big thanks to our Sponsors:

RootSkills Networking & Training Retreat

The New England Grassroots Environment Fund is holding RootSkills Training Series on April 10 and 11 in New Bedford, MA.  

Join community innovators and activists from all over New England for RootSkills for a day of skill building, designed especially for grassroots organizers!


The retreat is intended to re-invigorate the soul, gives a chance to reflect on our work, and work on the skills we need to be successful. It is also a great chance to connect with other community leaders, share ideas, and relax.


More info and registration can be found here.

We are stronger when we grow together
Become a VCGN member!

Become a VCGN member to receive free seeds and materials, gain access to funding and technical support, and receive discounts at garden retailers and for workshops.


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

The Toolshed: Tips for Garden Leaders


By Libby Weiland 

Your March tip: The days are approaching when your community or school garden will transition from dream to reality-buzzing with people, plants, and other life!


By now you should already have an idea of the basic structure of your garden-whether the beds will be individually or communally maintained. However, every garden has additional work to keep up with and communal spaces to maintain. How will the work get done at your garden? What systems, people, and schedules need to be in place to maintain its beauty and productivity? And how can you foster a participatory garden community while you're at it? Here are a few ideas to get you started: 

  • All Together Now - Garden-wide work parties bring all gardeners together to accomplish large projects and care for communal spaces in the garden. Start with one at the beginning of the season and then periodically throughout, so that gardeners can get to know each other and you can stay on top of the work...
  • A Volunteer Approach - Depending on your garden's structure, your volunteers might be community gardeners looking to fulfill required hours or additional volunteers from outside of the garden community...
  • Delegated Leadership - People are more likely to stay involved in a project if they have some sense of ownership. Some groups call on gardeners serve as "stewards." Similarly, other groups, particularly in school settings, have "crews."

To read the full Toolshed Tip, follow this link. 

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
Carolina Lukac, Garden Education Specialist
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!  
Become a VCGN member for discounts to Grow It! workshops, Gardener's Supply, and more!
Upcoming Events
Friday, April 10 , doors open at 6 p.m. at the Old Brick Church in Williston  
The Band features Bob Amos on banjo, guitar and vocals, Sarah Amos on vocals, Freeman Corey on fiddle, Bob Dick on bass, Gary Darling on mandolin and Steve Wright on guitar. The band puts on a very entertaining high energy show, with stellar vocals, terrific original material, plus some great new interpretations of some bluegrass classics. There will also be an art exhibit by featured visual artist Judy Brook and refreshments at intermission.

Burlington Area Community Gardens PotluckSaturday, April 11, 5:30pm at the Miller Recreation Center (130 Gosse Court, Burlington) Join community gardeners to kick of the gardening season with great food and company. The guest speaker is Michaela Ryan of New Village Farm and a great silent auction will benefit the BACG scholarship fund. Bring a dish to share and your own plate and cup. Open to all gardeners and friends!


Farm to School Curriculum Workshop Monday, April 13, 4:30- 7:30pm at Bingham School in Cornwall. ACORN and VT-FEED will host a working session where educators bring their ideas and questions, learn about ways to address the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, and have time and space for supported curriculum planning. $20, incluiding a light dinner. Pre-registration is required. Email Emily Hoyler at to register or for more info.


RootSkills workshops for grassroots leaders - April 10 - 11 in New Bedford, MA. The registration fee is $95 and includes all events (Friday dinner, reception, lodging, Saturday breakfast, lunch & workshops) OR $40 for Saturday workshops & lunch. Scholarships and limited childcare stipends are available. More info.


Check our events page to stay up to date.


Grow It! 
Spring Workshops for Garden Leaders
Join  Vermont Community Garden Network and Charlie Nardozzi for a spring workshop near you!  
The spring workshops focus on strengthening garden leadership  and growing a network of support for gardens. 
Participants learn strategies to boost their gardens and programs, share ideas and problem-solve with fellow garden leaders. Each workshop is hosted by a local community or school garden. 
CTGRegister for our 2015 Community Teaching Garden Class in Burlington!

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.



SEED GrantVCGN and the New England Grassroots Environment Fund have a dedicated pool of funding for community and school gardens with an educational component. In addition to fund of $250-$1,000, grantees receive specialized technical assistance from VCGN and vouchers to attend a Grow It! garden leader training session in their area. This new grant partnership is made possible by The Bay & Paul Foundations.The online application process is easy and you'll hear back within four weeks. Application deadline: April 17.

More info.  

For more grant postings visit our Grants page.


The Vermont Department of Health and Vermont Community Garden Network, in partnership with Charlie Nardozzi and Gardener's Supply , have awarded a second round of grants for small businesses to establish workplace food gardens. Learn more about the program and this year's grantees here.
Get Your Garden on the Map!
Join our growing network of community and school gardens!

VCGN has a Garden Directory which  shows the nearly 400 community, school and group gardens around the state.

Is your garden on our map?

The Directory is a great resource for helping people find your garden and connecting you to other garden organizations.  With our directory, you can create a profile to add a garden listing or update an existing one

Check out the map and connect with a garden near you!

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Vermont Community Garden Network | 802-861-4769 |