We'd love to hear from you!
Sweet potato vine telephone fun at the Community Teaching Garden.


As 2016 comes to a close, we're taking time to reflect on the programs, workshops, and technical assistance and other support we've provided over the past year.  Your feedback is a crucial part of our review and preparation for the 2017 season. If you have participated in VCGN programming, please help us out by completing our ANNUAL SURVEY. Everyone who completes the survey by Dec. 18 is entered to win a $50 gift card for Gardener's Supply. 

Thank you to everyone who supports this work to feed and connect Vermonters. If you haven't made a gift this year, we really need your help to close a year-end funding gap. 
Your donation helps people of all ages all over Vermont grow fresh healthy food for themselves, their families, and communities. Thank you!

Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season full of good food and fun! 
~ Jess Hyman, Executive Director

Applications are open for Green Thumbs at Work, a grant and technical assistance program that helps small businesses boost employee wellness with workplace food gardens. MORE INFO. And check out the feature article in Vermont Business Magazine.

We are pleased to announce our fourth year of Gardens for Learning program, which provides support for summer gardening, nutrition, and cooking programs for children at risk of summertime hunger. The 2017 Gardens for Learning applications will be available Dec. 15! MORE INFO 
By Sawyer, Grade 3, Sudbury Country School
This fall the Vermont Community Garden Network invited students to participate in a statewide art contest to tell the story of Community and School Gardens, the nourishment they bring, and how these gardens are rooted in the Vermont communities they serve. Winning artwork from each county will be featured in a 2017 garden calendar.  Click here to explore and enjoy all the submissions!

Special thanks to Gardener's Supply and Vantage Press
for sponsoring the calendar.

High Bionutrient Crop Production Workshop  
for gardeners, homesteaders, and farmers
RESCHEDULED TO JAN. 7 - Spots still available 
PART 1: Saturday, Jan. 7 at Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier
PART 2: Saturday, March 18 at Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier

Do you want to grow more nutritious and delicious food? Are you looking to increase yields and grow pest free crops? Join us for a two-part training with lifelong organic farmer Dan Kittredge, founder of the Bionutrient Food Association, who will help connect the dots between soil health, plant health, and human health. This workshop is for gardeners, farmers, homesteaders, and others to learn how to mobilize your soil biology to improve plant and crop health. 
The two-part workshop is only $200. The registration deadline is Friday, Dec. 23. Click here to learn more about the workshop and register.

Teaching Garden Photos Make Great Gifts

Do your holiday shopping AND help more people learn how to grow their own food! We have some lovely framed photos for sale from VCGN's "Growing Food, Growing Community" exhibit featuring images from the Community Teaching Garden taken by Dan Daniel and Cristina Clarimon-Alinder. The framed archival-quality prints are $45-$85 and all proceeds from art sales benefit the Community Teaching Garden Scholarship Fund. Stop by the VCGN office at 12-22 North St. in Burlington, or call us at (802) 861-4769 for more info.  
gardensResources for Garden Leaders
  Tell your Story and Connect with Community Gardeners From Around the Country 
The American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) is accepting workshop proposals for the 2017 ACGA Conference happening in Hartford, Conn. July 27-30, 2017. This is the closest the ACGA Conference has been to us Vermonters in a while. You all are doing such great work - we'd love for you to share it!

If you've never been to the ACGA Conference or perhaps never even heard of ACGA, this event is THE gathering for community-based gardeners! This includes anyone who's growing in community gardens, school gardens, youth education gardens, library gardens, donation gardens, you name it! As the conference date approaches, we'll be reaching out again to see if we can get a crew of Vermonters (and other Northeasterners) to head down to Connecticut together. We hope you will join us!

December Toolshed Tip:
A Call For Community
The garden team at Avenue Apartments in Burlington.
By Libby Weiland
Statewide Network Coordinator
This post-election season stands apart from others I've experienced in my lifetime.  In addition to the usual groans or cheers or questions about what will come next, I've been hearing something refreshingly forward-thinking: a call to action.  This invocation to act is not just coming from the usual outspoken individuals, but from everyone who can see by just looking around them that what we need now more than ever is kindness towards our neighbors, an active civic response, and a vested interest in getting to know the people with whom we share our country.  What this sounds like to me is a call for community.

As community-based gardeners you are in a unique position.  These shared spaces are some of the few places in our society where community-building serves not only as a necessary tool for getting things accomplished; it's often a reason why people get involved with community-based gardens in the first place-an opportunity to get to know one's neighbors and build a sense of community cohesion. So I ask you: What are you doing to actively build 'community' in your community-based garden?  If you don't know the answer, I would suggest taking some time to reflect this winter on the following questions:
  • How do people know that they are welcome in your garden community?
  • How do you actively reach out to new people?
  • In what ways do your fellow community gardeners get to know each other?
  • What do you do to uphold shared goals for your community-based garden?
  • How do you ensure that all gardeners feel comfortable sharing feedback and ideas about your garden?
You're already a crucial part of the movement towards building community.  Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to create welcoming shared spaces!

VCGN's 2016 Annual Survey 
Help us serve you even better! 

Your feedback is very important and help shapes our programming and the services we offer to people all over the state. Please take a few minutes to complete our annual survey.  If you respond by Sunday, Dec. 18, your feedback to be included in our annual review AND you'll be entered into a drawing for a $50 Gardener's Supply gift card.
The survey will take 5-20 minutes, depending on your involvement with VCGN. If you serve in a garden leadership role, we have more to ask of you and it may be helpful to review these questions prior to completing the survey:
  • Approximately, how many people directly use the garden? (Use includes growing food, eating food, learning activities, etc.)
  • To the best of your knowledge, what happens to food harvested from your community-based garden? (Percentage for each: household consumption, school cafeteria, used in educational programming, donated to food shelf, other)
  • What is the total area of your garden, in square feet (including space used for pathways, compost, sheds, gathering space, etc.)?
  • What organizations provide support to your garden for the following items? (space, money, equipment/supplies, technical assistance, education, volunteers, other)
  • How would the general public get more information about your garden? (Info: garden name, contact name, email, phone, website, Facebook, Twitter, other)
Thank you for your feedback, for your involvement with VCGN, and for all you do in your community!

If you have any questions, contact Libby Weiland at libby@vcgn.org or (802) 861-4769
Thanks for Your Support!
The Vermont Community Garden Network is growing a healthier Vermont by helping people of all ages access the space and resources to grow their own food and connect with each other. We need your help now more than ever! Please click here to make a year-end donation to grow more gardens, gardeners, and garden leaders. Thank you.

Since 2001, the Vermont Community Garden Network (formerly known as Friends of Burlington Gardens) has worked with hundreds of community and school groups to start, sustain, and grow gardens, building strong local food systems and vibrant educational sites.    
Contact us - we'd love to hear from you!

Jess Hyman , Executive Director
Libby Weiland, Statewide Network Coordinator 
Carolina Lukac, Garden Education Manager
Trish Laraja, Office Manager
Jennifer Fuller, Office Administrator
Lily Myers, Wild For Pollinators Program Intern
Renee Hamblin, Communications & Outreach Intern 
802-861-4769 info@vcgn.org | www.vcgn.org

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