Vermont Community Garden Network Bulletin

March 2012 



Spring certainly came early this year and we're getting ready for a productive season of growing gardens and community!


This is an exciting year, with a new addition to our garden education team, lots of garden events, and a special effort to learn what you need to keep your community or school garden strong and growing.


And it's Feinstein Foundation Anti-Hunger Challenge time. Your donation will go even further this Spring because the foundation matches a percentage of all gifts received in March and April. Any amount helps us grow more gardens and support more garden communities. 

In This Issue
Garden Organizer Survey
Welcome Anne Marie!
Feinstein Challenge
Gardener Profile
Upcoming Events
Funding Opportunities


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. Everyone who fills it out before March 26 is entered in a raffle for a lovely garden goodie bag with books, tools, seeds, and more. Please contact us if you would prefer to submit the information by mail or over the phone.


Welcome Anne Marie!

Please join us in welcoming Anne Marie Santos to the Friends of Burlington Gardens team.

Anne Marie is the new Healthy City Program
Coordinator. She brings a wealth of experience inspiring students of all ages to get their hands dirty. Program Director Jenn McGowan and Anne Marie can't wait to get growing with Burlington students - and with this weather we might not have to wait long!  


Donate by credit card or PayPal

It's Feinstein Challenge Time!  


This spring, the Feinstein Foundation is hosting its 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 consider a donation today - any amount makes a difference!  

And if you are able to make a larger gift, those funds will go even further thanks to a generous challenge grant from the Jane B. Cook Trust that matches individual donations of $500+ and corporate donations of $1,000+. This is a wonderful way to make an even bigger impact with your gift!  


Gardener Profile: 


Enjoying the Harvest   

with Robin and Steve  


By Russ Elek


Robin Burnett and Steve Griffin have been gardening their whole lives. Before coming to Vermont, they lived in Florida where they "exploited the growing season," Steve says with a smile.

Now they grow their food at the Riverside Neighborhood Garden in Burlington, just up the street from their Old North End home. They enjoy connecting with the community through gardening. Plus, says Steve, "You can't beat the potlucks once those veggie heads start cooking and they start showing off."

Since Vermont offers less time in the garden than Florida, the couple focuses even more on saving their harvest for use in the winter months. This practice is one they each learned from their parents and grandparents, who commonly canned beans and made sauerkraut.

Cooking with the preserved harvest has been learned over time. "Half the fun is growing extra so you can play," explained Steve. I had a chance to experience this (delicious) experimentation first hand-when I visited with the couple this winter. Click here to read the full story 

Garden Events


Gardening season is almost here and there are lots of fun and informative events and workshops to get you started. Here is a short sample from around Burlington. Please visit our website and our partners' sites (listed below) for more events.


Gardening Basics: Tuesday, March 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Miller Recreation Center in Burlington. $12 Burlington resident/ $17 non-resident (scholarships available) - sign up at (802) 864-0123.  


VCGN Fun-Waiser: Wednesday, March 21, 5:30 p.m.-close at The Skinny Pancake in Burlington. Delicious food and rockin' music by folk duo Joshua Panda and Ed Grasmeyer with 10% of the dinner proceeds going to our Vermont Community Garden Network so we can grow more community and school gardens around the state! No reservations necessary.   


Junior Iron Chef Competition: Saturday, March 24, 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at Champlain Valley Exposition, Essex Junction. $3/$5 family.      

Composting 101: Saturday, March 24, 9:30-11 a.m. at Gardener's Supply in Burlington.  
$10 - call (802) 660-3505 #4 to sign up.


Bulb Basics: Saturday, March 31, 9:30-11 a.m. at Gardener's Supply in Burlington.
$10 - call (802) 660-3505 #4 to sign up.


Seed Starting Workshop: Monday, April 2, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. at City Market in Burlington. 
$7 CM members, $12 non-members - sign up at   

Creating a Backyard Habitat: Saturday, April 7, 9:30-11 a.m. at Gardener's Supply in Burlington. $10 - call (802) 660-3505 #4 to sign up.

Season Extension Workshop: Saturday, April 7, 10am-Noon at Riverside Neighborhood Garden in Burlington. Learn all about cold frames and other ways to get an early start on your garden season. FREE, e-mail to sign up.

Burlington Area Community Gardens Spring Potluck: Saturday, April 14, 6-8 p.m. at Miller Recreation Center in Burlington. Potluck, seed saving talk and start swap.

Organic Gardening 101: Thursday, April 19, 6:30 p.m. Davis Auditorium, Fletcher Allen, Burlington. Interested in gardening, but don't know where to start? Join Friends of Burlington Gardens for a beginning gardener workshop covering the basics of growing your own fresh organic vegetables at home or in a community garden. FREE


Square Foot Gardening: Sunday, April 29, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. at City Market in Burlington. 

$5 CM members, $10 non-members - sign up at  


Friends of Burlington Gardens and Vermont Community Garden Network events  

Burlington Permaculture events and workshops   

City Market workshops  

NOFA-VT events and workshops   


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. Each indoor garden comes with a free timer and 10 seed packs. The prices are great and all proceeds benefit Friends of Burlington Gardens. Learn more and order online here.



Garden Funding Opportunities 


New England Grassroots Environmental Fund Seed Grants

Who: Groups launching new projects and/or evolving the scale of an existing project.

Details: Grants are intended to support community groups who represent the most exciting energy in the environmental movement that are not being reached by traditional funders. Project budgets generally less than $10,000 and has not received a Seed grant within one year of the current application.

Amount: $250 to $1,000.

Deadline: Open.  

More Info: 

Vermont Permaculture Council

Details: Projects that enrich the communities in Central Vermont, the Northeast Kingdom, Burlington Area, and Green Mountains; embody permaculture ethics and principles; and enrich a culture of permaculture in the northeastern bioregion.

Amount: The average grant award is $400.

Deadline: March 31. 

More Info:

GRO1000 Grassroots Grants 

Who: U.S. organizations with 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and/or groups and projects with an eligible nonprofit fiscal sponsor.
Garden and green space beautification projects that incorporate the involvement and engagement of neighborhood residents and foster a sense of community spirit. 

$1,500 consisting of in-kind and monetary contributions.

 Deadline: Open.  

More Info:  


Healthy Living Grants, Cabot Creamery

Who may apply: Schools with matching funds seeking to improve kids' health through exercise, nutrition and/or information.

Details: Cabot is an enthusiastic supporter of our communities' efforts to improve our kids' health through exercise, better nutrition and lots of fun knowledge. Cabot created the matching grant process to encourage schools to reach out to their own local businesses, cooperatives, parent clubs and others. Doing this supports sustainability for the initiative, provides awareness about a school's new healthy living idea and encourages participation by community members.

Amount: matching funds of up to $200 for any qualifying program

Deadline: open, requests due at least 6 weeks before funding is needed

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
  180 Flynn Ave Studio 3
  PO Box 4504
  Burlington, VT 05406-4504
  (802) 861-4769

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