Vermont Community Garden Network Bulletin

July 2012 


In This Issue
Compost Contamination Update
Put Your Garden On The Map
Healthy City Fundraiser July 7
Meet Our Summer Interns
Upcoming Events
Summer Garden Grant Opportunities


Compost contamination update

Health Dept says produce is safe to eat, but school and community gardens are faced with difficult decisions


The Chittenden Solid Waste District has confirmed that the persistent herbicides Clopyralid and Picloram made it into some batches of Green Mountain Compost. The contaminated compost was sold in bulk from the Williston facility and through retailers from mid-April to late May. 

More than 250 gardeners and farmers using the compost have reported abnormal growth, such as
extreme curling on the leaves of tomato plants, eggplant, and beans, as well as stunted growth and reduced fruit set.  The Vermont Department of Health has determined that the herbicide levels - 1.7 to 15.3 parts per billion, according to CSWD - do not pose a risk to human health.    


However, many gardeners are faced with reduced production and the personal decision of whether or not to consume the produce. Community and school gardens have the added challenge of determining what is an acceptable risk for their for their gardeners and students.   In their food safety guidelines for school gardens, the USDA advises schools not to use any pesticides or herbicides.  


CSWD is exploring options for assistance to gardens affected by the contaminated compost and is still trying to track down the source of the contamination. "We are working with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture to determine how these herbicides, which are regulated by the state, have entered feedstocks to our compost program in apparent violation of their label requirements, and how to prevent it from occurring in the future," said CSWD General Manager Tom Moreau.          


Home gardeners who have concerns about health can call the Health Department weekdays at 800-439-8550. Commercial growers can call the Agency of Agriculture at 802-828-6531 with questions. Produce destined for the marketplace will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 


Vermont Department of Health news release. 

Chittenden Solid Waste District news release.   


Green Mountain Compost  fact sheet with Q & A, including replanting and garden use recommendations. 



Take a Peek at the VCGN Garden Map


We are mapping the state's 300+ community and school gardens. Check out the work-in-progress and let us know what you think. What info would you like to see with each garden listing? What gardens are we missing?   

Send your comments and ideas to  


To add your garden to the map, fill out the survey at


The map is part of a statewide garden directory update and garden organizer needs assessment.  We want to know what you need to keep your garden strong and growing. 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.   


Burlap Coffee Bag Benefit Sale July 7
9a.m. - Noon
at 95 North Ave. Burlington 
(COTS/former Burlington College parking lot)


The sale benefits Healthy City Youth Initiative, a hands-on farm-to-school program that teaches basic gardening and cooking skills, boosts physical activity and increase healthy lifestyle choices for Burlington K-12 students. 


Buy 20 bags for $20 and use them in your garden, for craft projects, or even decoration. Limited pre-orders are available. Pay online with a credit card or PayPal and pick up your bags at the sale. More info at


Meet Our Summer Interns!


Jessie Mazar - Healthy City Garden Educator Intern

Jessie traces her interest in gardening to her experiences studying urban gardening in Mexico and food systems and global studies at the University of Vermont (2012). As a second-year Healthy City Garden Educator Intern with Friends of Burlington Gardens, she views community and school gardening as a platform for creatively addressing formidable issues related to current economic, environmental, and food systems. Jessie is working with the Burlington High School gardens and on an intergenerational garden project at Heineburg Senior Center.   


Erin Jackson - Healthy City Garden Educator Intern

Erin became involved with FBG's Healthy City Youth Initiative in 2011 while studying environmental science, nutrition and local food movements at the University of Vermont (2012). She returns this summer as a second-year Healthy City Garden Educator Intern, connecting healthy, local food with hands-on gardening education for students. Erin is working with the SOAR program at Integrated Arts Academy and a garden education program at Burlington Housing Authority's Bobbin Mill apartments.     


Andrew Schlesinger - Outreach and Communication Intern

After studying environmental studies and sustainable community design at the University of Vermont (2012) and writing his thesis on the role that community gardening will play in localizing post-oil suburbia, Andrew is serving as Friends of Burlington Garden's Outreach and Communication Intern. He will be updating VCGN's garden directory, needs and assessment survey results, and writing the monthly e-newsletter. 


Aviva Gottesman - Community Garden Research Project

Aviva is finishing her Integrated Natural Resource major at the University of Vermont (2013) where she studies how practicing sustainable natural resource management can be used to improve the well-being of a community. She is working with Friends of Burlington Gardens and the University of Vermont's Undergraduate Research Program on a research project entitled, The Radiating Impacts of Community Gardening on Individuals and Households in Burlington, Vermont.


Jack Steele - BACG 40th Anniversary Film Project

Jack is an environmental studies major with an anthropology minor at the University of Vermont (2014). His combined interest in the human and natural worlds will emerge this summer as he documents his film project entitled, Presenting the 40-Year History of Burlington's Rich Community Gardening Movement. 


FBG's Hand-picked Events for July!   


Here's a sampling of garden-related events from around the state. Please visit the websites of our friends and partners listed below for additional events.   


Burlap Bag Benefit Sale, July 7, Saturday, 9am-12pm @ 95 North Ave., Burlington, (COTS parking lot) - Come support Friends of Burlington Gardens and Healthy City Youth Farm in purchasing your very own burlap coffee bags. Great for a variety of gardening and even decorative uses. 20 bags for $20. More info 


Long Term Resilient & Regenerative Flood Responses, July 11, Wednesday, 7pm @ Yestermorrow Design/Build School, Warren, VT - Join Joel Glanzberg and Pete Munoz as they talk about the watershed and flood effects of Hurricane Irene and offer examples in which local communities are planning for the future. Free. More info  


Saving Seeds Workshop and Lunch @ Shelburne Farms, July 12, Tuesday, 12pm @ Inn at Shelburne Farms - Come enjoy a NOFO supported workshop on seed saving practices beginning with lunch at the Inn. More info

Rural Vermont Presents, "Meat & Greet Picnic Potluck", July 12, Tuesday, 6-8pm, 528 Burroughs Rd, South Wheelock - All are invited to enjoy this potluck festivity at Chandler Pond Farm. More info 


Flood and Drought Resiliency in Food Production (NOFA)July 12, Thursday, 5-7pm, Moretown - Tour Whole Systems Research Farm to see how one small farm and homestead mitigated the effects of Tropical Storm Irene by utilizing a diverse polyculture integrated with various earthworks. $10 for NOFA-VT members; $20 non-members. More info


Hand Mowing & Scything: Tips & Techniques (NOFA), July 14, Saturday, Richmond- 

Learn practical applications for using a scythe on your own land at Shattuck's Homestead. Use for making loose hay and fodder, clearing electric fence lines, grass trimming, and weeding. More info 


Island Bike Tour - Farm Food Wine Art, July 14, Saturday, 9am - 4pm @ Snow Farm Vineyards, South Hero, VT (map) - Join cyclists of all levels in exploring the Champlain Islands during a leisurely 10 or 25-mile ride with stops at farms, art studios, food venues, and vineyards. $35 adult, $20 youth. More info 


Growing Great Salad Greens- July 15, Sunday, - 11am-12pm,City Market, Burlington, VT - Learn tips and tricks for growing mesclun, head lettuce, and spinach this summer with focus on successional planting. $5 for City Market Members, $10 non-members. More info  


5th Annual Prospect Rock Permaculture Design Certification Course, July 15 - 27, Willow Crossing Farm, Johnson, VT (map) - Join Keith Morris and other permaculture designers in this twelve day intensive, permaculture-certification course. More info  


16th Annual Flynn Garden Tour of Charlotte, July 15, Friday, 10am-3pm - Join this self- guided garden tour of a variety of sustainability-focused sites and gardens followed by afternoon tea. $35, $37 day of. Contact


RAFFL & Groundworks Farm Community Potluck, July 16, Saturday, 5-7 pm, Groundworks Farm, Pittsford - This potluck is open to all and follows an afternoon workshop on CSA Management and Marketing at Groundworks Farm. Contact  


Canning Dilly Beans and Other Summer Pickles, July 17, Tuesday, 6-7:30pm @ The Sustainability Academy, Burlington, VT (map) - Learn how to can dilly beans and other summer pickle-able veggies with cookbook author and canning expert, Andrea Chesman.   $5 for City Market members, $10 for non-members. More info 


Special Tour of Honeydew Homestead, July 22nd, Sunday,10:30am- 12:30-ish, Williston- Explore this homestead to gather ideas for how to grow edible gardens, raised beds, move chickens around to fertilize different areas, and more! Fee: $5 Hort members / $10 non-members. More info 


In the Garden at Knoll Farm, July 22, Sunday @ Knoll Farm, Fayston - Join Wendy Johnson and Helen Whybrow at Knoll Farm for an evening of inspiration and insight in the midsummer garden. Examine soil health, pollination, cultivation, and fall planting.             Cost $15. More info 


Kimchi Two Ways, July 24, Tuesday, 6 7:30pm @ The Sustainability Academy, Burlington - Learn how to preserve various varieties of Kimchi with Michelle Guenard using a medley of seasonal vegetables. $5 for City Market members, $10 for non-members.   

More info  


18th Annual Friends of the Horticulture Farm Benefit Plant Sale, July 29, Sunday, 10am-3pm  @ UVM Horticulture Research Center, South Burlington - a wide variety of trees, perennials, and plants. More info  



More Garden and Green Events Found at these Websites 

Friends of Burlington Gardens and Vermont Community Garden Network events  

Burlington Permaculture events and workshops   

City Market workshops   

Red Wagon Plants workshops and events 

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 


Summer Grant Opportunities!

Grants and Funding Opportunities


National Gardening Association KidsGardening Grant - NGA's grant and award programs are funded by generous corporations and foundations that share NGA's vision of a greener future and school garden. Follow this link for an easy registration to begin the application process. More info


New Small Grants Program for PC(USA) Congregations Doing Faith-Based Initiatives to Transform the Food System - The Presbyterian Hunger Program is offering grants from $100 - $1000 across the country to bring resilience to our food system, and health to people and community. More info 


Awesome Foundation's Food Chapter - The Awesome Foundation's Food chapter is now taking applications for its $1,000 micro-grants to further food awesomessness in the universe. Every month, one microgrant will be given for an awesome idea involving food. The more inventive, the better. More info 


Communities Take Root Grant - The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF)

and Dreyer's Fruit Bars are planting orchards across the country in a collaborative program called Communities Take Root (CTR). Through this exciting program, communities compete in a nation-wide vote to win a complete community orchard. More info


Healthy Living Grants, Cabot Creamery - Schools with matching funds seeking to improve kids' health through exercise, nutrition and/or information. More info


GRO1000 Grassroots Grants - Grants for garden and green space beautification projects that incorporate the involvement and engagement of neighborhood residents and foster a sense of community spirit. More info 


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

We'd love to hear from you!
Jess Hyman, Executive Director
Anne Marie Santos, Healthy City Program Coordinator
Denise Quick, Community Teaching Garden Instructor
Jessie Mazar, Garden Educator Intern
Erin Jackson, Garden Educator Intern
Andrew Schlesinger, Outreach & Communications Intern
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