Vermont Community Garden Network Bulletin

June 2011


sprouts in peat pot


Welcome to the NEW Vermont Community Garden Network Bulletin!  

This new  format allows us to include photos with our news items and connections with our social networking tools. The VCGN Bulletin will continue to provide exciting garden-based news, resources, and events for 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, events, check us out on Facebook and Twitter.  


We hope you like the new format and welcome comments and suggestions. And don't forget to send us your garden news and events to share with our growing network of more than 1,000 school and community gardeners all over the state.

Happy gardening!


Jess Hyman, Executive Director

Friends of Burlington Gardens & the Vermont Community Garden Network



Bulletin Contents
Healthy City Youth Farm Launch Celebrates Spring Launch
School Community Garden Grantees in the News
Upcoming Event - June 4 & 5 Sweet Potato Slip Sale at Red Wagon Plants
They Ran for the Gardens!
Thank you to Gardener's Supply for the Cucurbit Connnection
Gardening in the News
New Resource - Home Fruit Growing Website


Healthy City Youth Farm Celebrates Spring Launch  

Senator Leahy visits Hunt Middle School to Support Farm to School Connections


girls raking


Healthy City Youth Farm, located on the grounds of Hunt Middle School, marked the beginning of the growing season on May 20, and the entire student body of Hunt Middle School - all 380 students - participated in a variety of activities to celebrate the launch and get the site ready for planting.


Warmed by a perfect early spring day, students learned about the importance and source of compost and spread the nourishing soil on the 40 beds of the farm by forming a bucket brigade with their classmates. Students took turns shoveling, carrying loaded buckets, and then raking the compost across the beds. As the beds were disturbed by the rakes, earthworms peeked out and students learned about the connections between healthy soil and healthy ecosystems.


Click here to read more about the day, including Senator Leahy's visit to the Farm!  



NECN Article: Vermont Kids Dig Into Healthier School Lunches 




School Community Garden Grantees in the News 


Friends of Burlington Gardens announced recently announced the awarding of $40,000 in funding to support 40 school community garden programs directly involving Vermont children and youths in hands-on food production education during the school year and summer months.


The mini-grant program provides each school community garden with a $1,000 mini-grant to cover reimbursements for infrastructure items including top soil and compost, water systems, fencing, raised bed materials, hand tools, wheelbarrows, and garden signage. The projects funded by the mini-grants are designed to involve children, youths, and adults working side-by-side to improve their garden sites.


As part of the mini-grant program, each of the 40 school community gardens are matched with a University of Vermont Extension Master Gardener (EMG) Volunteer to empower local schools and communities to develop productive gardens that improve food security for participating children and youths, and that can be sustained for many years.


The School Community Garden Mini-grant Program is made possible through a federal grant secured by the Vermont Community Foundation and Friends of Burlington Gardens, with support from Senator Bernie Sanders.   




South Burlington High School is one of the 40 grantees. On May 23, students worked on  the new school garden site as part of a freshman Community Service Day. Click here for photos from the day 


And many other grantees have been in the news. Here's a sampling:

Students to plant community garden in Milton

Little Garden in Eden Wins Mini Grant - Eden Central School  



Upcoming Event


Grow your own sweet potatoes!


4th Annual Champlain Valley Sweet Potato Slip Sale 

June 4th & 5th at Red Wagon Plants in Hinesburg


Red Wagon Plants and Friends of Burlington Gardens are teaming up to present the Fourth Annual Champlain Valley Sweet Potato Slip Sale this Saturday and Sunday, June 4 & 5 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily or while supplies last. The benefit sale is held at Red Wagon Plants, 2408 Shelburne Falls Road in Hinesburg. Click here for map and directions.  


More than 2,500 Beauregard sweet potato slips are available. Each slip can produce a fall harvest of up to six sweet potatoes with garnet colored skin and orange flesh. The slips are potted, hardened off, and ready for transplanting in home, school, and community gardens.  


Don't miss the sweet potato recipe taste tests from The Plumpest Peach Catering Company, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 4 only.  


Bulk pots of slips at quantity pricing will also be available at the sale for organic farmers and growers.


All proceeds from the sale support garden-based education and outreach programs! 



They ran for the gardens!


Two teams of runners participated in this weekend's Keybank Vermont City Marathon to raise money for FBG's Community Teaching Garden and the Healthy City Youth Initiative.  These two education programs provide youths and adults in Burlington with hands-on opportunities to grow fresh food and friendships.




Thank you to the fantastic FBG relay teams:

  • "Five Friends of Burlington Gardens" relay team - Bart Westdijk, Kate Westdijk, Jules Fishelman, Dan Cahill, and Kit Perkins - finished 158th out of of 442 teams in 3:59:33.
  • "Two Friends of Burlington Gardens" team members - Jim and Jon Flint (each running a half marathon)- finished 10th out of 91 two-person teams in 3:04:21.

It's not too late to make a contribution. If you would like to make a pledge, please click on for details and a link for secure online pledges. All donations are tax deductible and will be acknowledged.


Thanks to Gardener's Supply for the Cucurbit Connection!




Thanks to a generous donation from Gardener's Supply, FBG distributed more than three thousand cucumber and squash starts to school and community gardens, the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, Association of Africans Living in Vermont, VNA Family Room, the Monitor Barn Farm (to be grown for the Vermont Foodbank), the Root Center, and gardeners all over the Old North End.


Gardening in the News  

Bennington Banner article about potential cuts to the Southwest Vermont Career Development Center's agriculture classes. The program also benefits a number of community nonprofit groups, including the community garden.




Rooftop Garden Pavilion at Fletcher Allen Health Care incorporates edible landscape plants, raised vegetable beds, a shed that collects rainwater, soaker hoses, and an open space for cooking workshops and demonstrations.



New Resource:


Home Fruit Growing Wedsite from Dr. Leonard Perry of UVM Extension

This website provides articles and information on growing fruit in Vermont. It provides updates to the Fruit Gardener's Bible (Lewis Hill and Leonard Perry, to be published late 2011 by Storey Publishing).


Send your garden-related news articles, events, and workshops via e-mail to Jess Hyman at 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, please 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
Jim Flint, Founder & Project Director
Denise Quick, Community Teaching Garden Instructor
Kelly McLemore, AmeriCorps VISTA

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