Vermont Community Garden Network Bulletin

April 2012 



In This Issue
New Funding Helps Restore Flooded Community and School Gardens
Thank You and Best Wishes, Jenn!
Help us Meet a $10,000 Challenge
Garden Organizer Profile
What do You Need to Keep Your Garden Strong and Growing?
Upcoming Events


The Quechee Community Garden, pre-, during, and post-Irene. Approximately 50 people lost their crops when the Ottauquechee River flooded its banks. This garden - and seven others - received grants to help rebuild.
More funding will be available this spring for flood-damaged community and school gardens.

New Funding Helps Restore Flooded Gardens


Eight gardens receive grants in first round; more grants on the way    


Friends of Burlington Gardens, in partnership with the Vermont Community Foundation and the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont, has awarded flood recovery grants to eight community and school gardens around the state. The gardens receiving grants are:   

  • Center for Sustainable Practice Garden in White River Junction
  • Gardens for Learning in Montpelier
  • Hardwick Community Gardens
  • Mellishwood Garden in Woodstock
  • Quechee Community Garden
  • Riverside Mobile Home Park Community Gardens in Woodstock
  • Sustainable Woodstock Community Gardens in Woodstock/Pomfret
  • The Grateful Garden in Chester

Each garden will receive up to $1,000 each to help rebuild or relocate secure food production sites.  The garden flood relief requests totaled more than double the available funding provided by the Vermont Community Foundation's Special and Urgent Needs - Irene Recovery Fund. Thanks to the efforts of Lisa Ransom of Moretown, Episcopal Relief and Development contributed additional funds to meet the garden rebuilding needs. Ransom, who owns Grow Compost of Vermont and is also an Episcopal priest, is strongly connected to the flood relief efforts in Waterbury.


A second grant round to help gardens in more flood-affected communities is in the works.
Click here for more info.


Thank You and Best Wishes, Jenn!

Please join us in thanking Jenn McGowan for her service to Friends of Burlington Gardens and the Healthy City program.

Jenn became the program director in 2009 when Healthy City - a program she developed and managed at the Intervale Center from 2002-2009 - moved to a new home at Friends of Burlington Gardens. She stewarded the Healthy City Youth Initiative through an expansion that brought the hands-on farm to school program onto school grounds and broadened its reach to all students in the Burlington School District.

Jenn's last day with FBG is today, April 20. Thanks  to her efforts and the strong partnerships she built with the Burlington School Food Project and others, Healthy City is ready for another successful season. Anne Marie Santos joined FBG's staff as program coordinator in March and she will manage the program's Youth Farm at Hunt Middle School and 2012 garden programming alongside returning interns Jessie Mazar and Erin Jackson.

The Healthy City Youth Initiative and its participation in the Burlington School Food Project is a model for empowering young people to grow fresh foods that nourish their bodies and enhance their educational experience, ultimately creating a visible and lasting step in school food change.

wish Jenn well on her new adventures.


Donate by credit card or PayPal

Help us Meet a Special $10,000 Challenge!  


The Jane B. Cook 1992 Charitable Trust has a long-standing commitment to support education, children and youth, health and welfare, the environment and the arts.   


The Trust has provided core support for FBG's local and statewide outreach and education programs since 2006. This year, the Trust has challenged us to raise $10,000 through individual donations of $500+ and corporate donations of $1,000+.  When we meet that goal, the Jane B. Cook 1992 Charitable Trust will match the amount. This is a wonderful way to make an even bigger impact with your major gift!  


To learn more, please contact Executive Director Jess Hyman at or (802) 861-4769.    


And there's still a week left in the Feinstein Foundation's 15th Annual "Hunger Challenge" to benefit nonprofits doing anti-hunger work across the nation. The foundation will match a portion of all donations made in March and April.  


Please make a donation today - any amount makes a difference!   


 2009 Community Teaching Garden graduate Melissa Hart
Garden Organizer Profile 


From VT to NY:
Building Community and Connections in the Garden


By Russ Elek


Melissa Hart wanted to garden, but didn't have space. When she found out about the Community Teaching Garden at the Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington, she jumped at the chance to get involved. Melissa is now in her fourth year working with community gardens and is the Vice-Chair of the Plattsburgh Community Garden Group.


For Melissa, the Teaching Garden was in a convenient location, just down the road from her New North End home. Friends of Burlington Gardens has been running
the 22-week hands-on beginning organic gardening program at the site since 2003.


Melissa enjoyed her time so much that after graduating from the Teaching Garden, she moved to a larger plot in the nearby New Discovery Garden  and began to give back to the "community" effort. "We revamped the space," she said. "There used to be a sort of secret garden for children off to the side and it had become overgrown. We resurrected it."


Melissa moved to Plattsburgh, N.Y., in the fall of 2009. "I had the space to create a garden, but I missed some of the aspects of community gardening," she reflected. "I really liked connecting with other people. In a community garden you are meeting people; you can share knowledge, ask questions, trade produce."  Click here to read the full story.   


The Community Teaching Garden is a hands-on organic gardening program for beginners. Participants learn how to plant, cultivate, harvest, and preserve fresh vegetables in a fun and supportive learning environment. There are a few spots open for the 2012 season. For more info, visit 


logo Garden Organizer Survey 

Do you coordinate or manage a community, school, neighborhood, or group garden in Vermont? The Vermont Community Garden Network is updating its statewide garden directory and we need your help!


The directory helps people find gardens in their areas and highlights garden projects. The new interactive map and expanded contact information will provide more ways for people to connect to your garden.


Thanks to the Windham Foundation and other partners, we will be offering more resources, information, networking, and learning opportunities for garden organizers. Your feedback is very important and will help us shape our programming to meet your needs.

Click here to fill in the questionnaire online.  Please contact us if you would prefer to submit the information by mail or over the phone.

Garden Events


Gardening season is here and there are lots of fun and informative events and workshops to get you started. Please visit these events pages:


Friends of Burlington Gardens and Vermont Community Garden Network events  

Burlington Permaculture events and workshops   

City Market workshops  

NOFA-VT events and workshops 

Perry's Perennials events listing 

Friends of the Hort Farm 

Rutland Area Farm and Food Link events 

Addison County Relocalization Network events 

UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture events 

Center for an Agricultural Economy events 


Vermont Indoor Gardens: The easy and affordable way to start your seeds  

Friends of Burlington Gardens has a great selection of indoor grow light units for sale. The units are excellent for seed starting and are well suited for home or school use. Learn more and order online here.



The VCGN Bulletin provides garden-based news, resources, and events for community, school, and neighborhood gardeners and garden organizers 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 comments and suggestions for the VCGN Bulletin. Don't forget to send in your garden news and events to share with our growing network of more than 1,300 school and community gardeners all over the state. Please include a web page link to help direct readers to the information source.

The Vermont Community Garden Network is hosted by Friends of Burlington Gardens, a nonprofit organization supporting school, community and neighborhood gardens in Burlington and across Vermont. For more information, visit our web site at
or contact FBG at:
  Friends of Burlington Gardens
  180 Flynn Ave Studio 3
  PO Box 4504
  Burlington, VT 05406-4504
  (802) 861-4769

We'd love to hear from you!
Find us on Facebook          Follow us on Twitter