Vermont Community Garden Network Bulletin

September 2011



This edition of the VCGN Bulletin is bittersweet. The harvest season is here, but it has been marred by devastating flooding that has washed out roads, damaged homes, and wiped out farms and gardens. The destruction is shocking, but the resilience, compassion, and community spirit that abound in the face of such hardships are truly inspiring.

This edition of the VCGN Bulletin includes important information about food safety in the wake of flooding, funding opportunities for garden recovery, some resources for those affected by the after-effects of tropical storm Irene and subsequent flooding, and some events that celebrate the things that bring us together in times of crisis: good food, good music, good company, and goodwill.  

Bulletin Contents
Gardening After the Flood: Food Safety Advisory
How to Help - And Be Helped
Celebrating Community at the Corn Roast & Veggie Ball
Garden Funding Opportunities
More Upcoming Events


Gardening after the flood: Food Safety Advisory 


The Vermont Department of Health is advising gardeners to throw away any fruits and vegetables - including root crops - that have been in contact with floodwater. According to the federal Food and Drug Administration, all flood-affected crops - fruits and vegetables, above and below ground - should not be consumed, sold or given away. Apples, pears or other high-growing fruit that were not touched by floodwater should be washed with a known safe source of water before eating.


This is difficult advice to take for gardeners who have been nurturing crops all summer, but the extent of the flooding - and the fact that many wastewater treatment plants and septic systems have overflowed - means that much of the produce may be unsafe.  


"Any fresh produce that has been in contact with floodwaters cannot be considered safe to eat," said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD. "This is a change from our earlier advisory. Because the flooding was so extensive and so forceful, there is potential for contamination that cannot be washed or disinfected away."


For more information, visit the Vermont Department of Health website. 


How to help - and be helped
There is a wealth of resources available for people affected by the post-Irene flooding and those who want to help. Here is a sampling:
  • For a list of organizations providing immediate relief, see the Vermont Community Foundation's website.
  • The Vermont Community Foundation and the Agency of Agriculture have established a  Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund to provide grant support to farms of any size that have sustained losses in the wake of Hurricane Irene.
  • VCF also offers Special and Urgent Needs grants to nonprofit organizations in the hardest hit communities.   
  • The #VTresponse website is a clearinghouse for flood updates and volunteer deployment. 


Corn Roast & Veggie Ball   

Sunday, September 11, 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington

Music by Jenni Johnson & Friends - Local Food Feast - Garden Tours - Best-dressed Veggie Contest


Celebrating the harvest season and the healing power of community!


Reserve your tickets now for the annual Corn Roast & Veggie Ball. Join us to celebrate the harvest and enjoy a scrumptious veggie feast, roast corn, and music and dancing with Jenni Johnson and friends. Tickets are $25 for adults and teens; $10 for 12 and under; free for toddlers.


This event is a celebration of the things that bring us together in times of crisis: good food, good music, good company, and goodwill. It is also a tribute to FBG Founder Jim Flint's tireless work supporting school, community, and neighborhood gardens in Burlington and across the state. As FBG heads into its 11th year and Jim starts a new chapter in his life, we are grateful for the solid foundation that he has built and we look forward to continuing his work growing gardens, fresh food, happy people, and healthy communities.   


Garden Funding Opportunities 


There are several upcoming garden funding opportunities, some of which could be used to help with gardens affected by flooding. 


New England Grassroots Environment Fund 

Who May Apply: Grassroots groups working on community level issues - including gardens - with less than 2 full-time paid staff and operating budgets of less than $100,000.
Details: Grant awards range from $500 to $2,500. NEGEF recognizes
the power of community-building through gardens and encourages whole systems-thinking that is focused on making our environment and communities better, healthier and more sustainable.
Deadline: Sept. 15, 2011

More info:


Green Education Foundation and Gardener's Supply Green Thumb Challenge
Who May Apply:
Schools and youth groups who submit chronicles of their garden projects. The award is designed to support the continued sustainability of an exceptional youth garden program that has demonstrated success, and has impacted the lives of kids and their community. 
: $5,000 
Sept. 30, 2011 
More Info:

ACGA and Gardener's Supply Grant Program 

Who May Apply: Established or developing community gardens. Applicant or garden must be an American Community Gardening Association member.

Amount: Up to $1,000 for projects that build community in community gardens
Deadline: Oct. 1, 2011 with awards announced Nov. 15, 2011. 

More info:  


Youth Garden Grants sponsored by Home Depot

Who May Apply: K-12 teachers, educators, coordinators, and parents. 

Details: Applicants must plan to garden with at least 15 children between the ages of 3 and 18 years.Schools, youth groups, community centers, camps, clubs, treatment facilities, and inter-generational groups are eligible. Priority will be give to programs that emphasize one or more of these elements: Educational focus or curricular/program integration, nutrition or plant-to-food connections, environmental awareness/education, entrepreneurship, and social aspects of gardening such as leadership development, team building, community support, or service-learning.

Amount: 95 $500 awards, 5 $1,000 awards    

Deadline: Nov. 28th, 2011

More Info:  


Subaru Healthy Sprouts

Who May Apply: K-12 teachers, educators, coordinators, and parents.  

Details: School or organization must plan to garden in 2012 with at least 15 children between the ages of 3 and 18. The selection of winners is based on the demonstrated relationship between the garden program and education related to environmental, nutrition and hunger issues.

Amount: 50 $500 awards    

Deadline: Nov. 30th, 2011

More Info:  


Mantis Tiller Grants  

Who May Apply: K-12 teachers, educators, garden coordinators, parents, and interested parties.  

Details: In the past, winners have included schools, churches, correctional facilities, parks departments, youth camps, community gardens, and many others. Applicants must operate a charitable or educational program that is not-for-profit. The tiller may not be used as a prize for fundraising (e.g., auction or raffle).

Amount: 25 programs will each receive a Mantis Tiller/Cultivator with border/edger and kickstand, and their choice of gas-powered 2-cycle engine or electric motor. Total value  $349.00.  

Deadline: March 1st, 2012

More Info: 



More upcoming events:     


Growing Local Fest - Fundraiser for the "Garden in Every Washington County School" initiative: 2-7 p.m. Sept. 10, Vermont College of Fine Arts Green, Montpelier.  


10th Annual Small Farm Food Fest: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 11, Shelburne Orchards, Shelburne.

Farm To School Community Volunteer Training: 9-10:30 a.m. Sept. 13, Forest Center at the National Historical Park in Wooodstock.  


Celebrating Farm to School: Vermont Farm to School Network Forum: 4-6 p.m. Sept. 19, Randolf Elementary School.    


Healthy City Benefit Bake: 5-10 p.m. American Flatbread Burlington Hearth, Burlington. 


33rd Annual Shelburne Farms Harvest Festival: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 17 Shelburne Farms, Shelburne. 


New England Grassroots Environment Fund 15th Anniversary Celebration: Oct. 22, New Bedford, Mass.


School Nutrition Association of Vermont Fall Conference: Oct. 21-22 at Lake Morley Resort in Fairlee. 


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!
Jess Hyman, Executive Director
Jenn McGowan, Program Director
Denise Quick, Community Teaching Garden Instructor
Jim Flint, Founder & Garden Mentor

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