April Week 2: Second Nature, City Market, VBSR, NOFA-VT, Vermont Nature Conservancy, VCGN

AASHE (good read/conferences/jobs)

Second Nature (good watch):

Sustainability Sit-Downs #11 is out. This week’s video features Wendell Brase, Administrative Vice Chancellor at University of California, Irvine, discussing discussing the true costs of inaction in the face of Climate Change. Sustainability Sit-Downs is a new Second Nature video series consisting of 12 short interviews with sustainability leaders in higher education and partner organizations. A new video will be released every Wednesday.
Courtesy of Gabriela Boscio, Manager, Communications and Education, Second Nature

City Market (local events/classes/food):

The Onion Skin
April 2015
City Market Solar Panels
Sustainability Springs Forth
By Pat Burns, General Manager
Every year, we’re working on a variety of initiatives at the Co-op, many related to sustainability. And once a year, we try to tell a compelling story of our collective Cooperative value and strength in our Annual Report. Since we’re celebrating Earth Week this month, I wanted to take some time and highlight the “Sustainability & Environment” section of our Annual Report. Read on for more information about our waste diversion, alternative transportation, FishWise, and more.
Rachel Jolly
Update: General Manager Search
By Rachel Jolly, Board Member and Search Committee Chair
As January’s edition of the Onion Skin reported, the Board is conducting a search for a new General Manager after Pat Burns notified us of his plans to step down in June. We want to let you know of our progress.
Board members feel that we have been blessed with excellent leadership in our past two General Managers. When Clem Nilan stepped down in 2013 the then Director of Operations, Pat Burns, was a natural fit and seamlessly took on the role of General Manager. Over the last two years, he has helped lead City Market to be the top grossing single-store co-op in the National Co-op Grocers network. Pat’s announcement of his decision to step down was graciously given six months before his end date, giving us plenty of notice to reach one of the most important decisions we will make as representatives of our members.
2014 Co-op Patronage Seedling Grant Recipients
Patronage Refund Results
We are excited to announce the results of Patronage Refund donations! Over $968,000 was sent to Members in November as Patronage Refunds.  As part of this process, Members have the option to donate their checks to Hunger Free Vermont or to not cash their checks in support of our Co-op Patronage Seedling Grantprogram.
We set a minimum of $20,000 for Co-op Patronage Seedling Grants, but the uncashed Patronage Refund amount was almost three times that amount, meaning the 5 organizations receiving these grants will get a much larger infusion of cash.
Earth Day Bag
Earth Week
April 20-26, 2015
Join us to celebrate environmental sustainability, not just for Earth Day, but for Earth Week!  We’ll be giving away free reusable bags (in 2 different sizes) to customers who would normally need a plastic or paper bag startingMonday, April 20 through Sunday, April 26 or while supplies last.
We’ll also be offering an in-store pallet sale on products from Seventh Generation, Ben & Jerry’s, Cabot Creamery, and Vita Coco, as well as in-store demos and a special Earth Week Facebook giveaway. Stay tuned to our website and social media for details!
Mad River Blue
April Cheese & Wine
This month our Cave to Co-op cheese special is Mad River Blue from Von Trapp Farmstead in Waitsfield, VT.  Made with raw cows’ milk, this cheese has a natural rind and is aged 3 months.  It is a mild blue with a complex flavor and creamy texture.  It pairs well with sweet white wines with bright acidity like Kung Fu Girl Riesling and light and fruity red wines like Domaine duPeuble Beaujolais.
Please Note: Store CLOSED April 15, 2015
Due to a need to replace a faulty refrigeration valve (and thus turn off many of the coolers in the store), we will beclosing early at 9pm on Tuesday, April 14 and the Co-op will be CLOSED Wednesday, April 15.  We plan to be open regular hours on Thursday, April 16, 7am-11pm.  We apologize for the inconvenience!
  Upcoming Co-op & Local Events
The Dish: Git Yer Goat

The Dish:
Git Yer Goat
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
ArtsRiot, 400 Pine St.
As part of Vermont Restaurant Week(April 24 – May 3), we’re presenting a special edition of The Dish! Goats are the world’s most common meat source, valued for their relatively inexpensive upkeep, resilience and adaptability. But most Vermonters have never eaten chevon, or goat meat, and it rarely appears on restaurant menus. How come? Join a panel of local experts for a lively discussion on the potential goats represent for Vermont’s food system and evolving agricultural landscape.

Members Needed:
Join a Co-op Team
There are a couple of community events we are participating in, and we’re recruiting Members to be a part of Member Teams for each event:
Vermont Restaurant Week
Culinary Pub Quiz: Sun, April 26
email Callie Megargle byWednesday, April 22 to sign up
COTS Walk: Sun, May 3
email Liz Dykes by Wednesday, April 29 to sign up
Hope to see you out at these upcoming events!

Film Showing
Saturday, May 2, 7-9pm
Main Street Landing
Join us, Americas Media Initiative, and Vermont Caribbean Institute for a showing of Tierralismo: Stories from a Cooperative Farm.  Tierralismo is a documentary
about the history and practices of one of Cuba’s most successful and important urban farms, the Organoponico Vivero Alamar. What began as a necessity – farming without pesticides and chemical fertilizers – has become a source of pride to co-op members.
Note: These articles are not meant as a substitute for proper medical advice. Please consult with your medical practitioner before using any type of remedy, herbal or otherwise.
Boyden Farm Visit

Farm Visit to Boyden Farm
By Sarah Bhimani, Media Coordinator
Earlier this week, a few of us from the Co-op had the opportunity to visit our friends out at Boyden Farm in Cambridge, VT to get a tour of their beef operation.  It was a gray, late winter day, but we stayed warm as we walked around visiting the cows and learning all about what the Boydens and their staff do.
Boyden Farm raises grass-fed, grain-finished beef on about 900 acres, using non-GMO feed.  This means that the corn and soybeans that are fed to the cattle are GMO-free varieties.
Basil, Lemon, Thyme

Advice from the Aisles:
DIY Room Sprays
By Wendy Neville, Wellness Buyer
Have you started your spring cleaning yet? The sun is out and the snow is melting – let’s put the winter behind us!Spring inspires us to shed our layers, change things up, move out the various winter supplies from our homes, and do some cleaning. But maybe you’re not inspired quite yet? This can be a daunting and messy task, kicking up dust, mold, and more. And it’s usually just not that fun. You’d rather be playing in the mud, right?So why would you want to make your own room sprays?

Naturally Dyed Eggs
From the Archives:
Dyeing Eggs Without the Mysterious Fizzy Tablet
By Meg Klepack
If you’re looking to color eggs this spring without using those mysterious fizzy dye tablets made in China, look no further than your refrigerator.
Surprisingly, natural dyes using the colorful spices and vegetables we’ve all got in our kitchens already can be just as vibrant and fun as the chemical dyes. Here’s how.
Vermont Right to Know
Take Action: DARK Act
The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 1559), also dubbed as the DARK Act (Denying Americans the Right-to-Know Act), has once again been introduced to Congress and referred to committee.  This bill wouldcodify, or make official, the current system of only voluntary GMO labeling and make null any state-passed GMO labeling requirements, including Vermont’s GMO Labeling Law.  Please help us protect Americans’ right to know what’s in our food by contacting Congress and letting them know your opinion.
Check out some of our upcoming classes, including Nutrition Kitchen: Phytonutrients on April 10, Delicious Spring Detox on April 22, and Strudels on April 26.
Raw Avocado and Cucumber Soup

Syrian Tabbouleh

Lentil Walnut Burgers

Shen Willow Holistic Massage

Featured Community Connection:
Shen Willow
Holistic Massage
Jamie McKenzie of Shen Willow Holistic Massage is a certified massage therapist, bringing Asian Bodywork and Traditional Chinese Medicine to Burlington. She is trained in Amma and Shiatsu massage therapy along with Abdominal Diagnosis, Chinese Cupping, Moxibustion and the fundamentals of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
During the month of April, City Market Members can enter to win a $70 gift certificate to Shen Willow Holistic Massage.  To enter, fill out a drawing slip at the Customer Service Desk and place it in the Community Connections giveaway box!
Cassi Stilianessis

Featured Member Artist:
Fidget Artwork
Fidget Artwork was born the day Cassi Stilianessis no longer cared about finding the “perfect” medium.  Finger-painting, collage, acrylic, photography—she loves it all!  Heavily inspired by a wide variety of music and an adoration of nature, Fidget Artwork is an ever growing collection of eclectic pieces as unique and unpredictable as the Vermont weather.
Check out the Fidget Artwork: Eclectic Art by Cassi Facebook page for more artwork and information.
April Rally for Change
Rally for Change: April
Our Rally for Change program started in October! Customers now have the option to round up at the register, and at the end of the month, we donate 40% of those funds to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, 50% to an organization that aligns with our Global Ends, and 10% to a local non-profit.
50% Recipient: Vermont Foodbank
The mission of the Vermont Foodbank is to gather and share quality food and nurture partnerships so that no one in Vermont goes hungry. As the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, serving Vermont through a network of food shelves and meal sites, the Vermont Foodbank provided nearly 9 million pounds of food to 153,100 Vermonters last year alone. Beyond food distribution, Vermont Foodbank programs focus on nutrition education, addressing senior health and nutrition, job training and food preparation, along with a host of youth programs that provide healthy food for kids during out-of-school time. The Vermont Foodbank, a member of Feeding America, is nationally recognized as one of the most effective and efficient nonprofits and food banks in the nation. For every dollar donation, the Vermont Foodbank can provide 3 meals for our neighbors in need.
10% Recipient: Pine Forest Children’s Center
Pine Forest Children’s Center (PFCC) is a non-profit early learning center and was founded in November 1988 by the Baird Center.  They became an independent, non-profit organization in 2010. PFCC’s mission is to provide high quality enhanced child care services to children six weeks to six years old in an integrated setting. PFCC serves 75 children daily and has six classrooms and additional space for large motor activities. They have three outdoor locations, a garden, outdoor classroom and access to Oakledge Park. PFCC is also a Certified Eco-Healthy Program through the use of green cleaning products and eco-healthy practices.  PFCC practices a play-based philosophy with an emergent curriculum. Classrooms and the natural world are symbiotic and environments are created based on children’s interests with a focus on the natural world. Our curriculum represents practices from Reggio Emilia, Piaget and Waldorf and current research based on best practices.
Last month, customers rounded up a total of $10,390.51! The Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf will receive $4,156.20, the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf Mural Project will receive $5,195.26, and Prevent Child Abuse Vermont will receive $1,039.05.
Connect with us!
Have you visited the Co-op on Facebook, Google, or Yelp?  Please do – we want to hear from you!
Stay up to date with news, information, giveaways, and fun content from your Co-op by following us on Facebook,Instagram, and our other social networks.
  Board Meetings and New Members

Next Board Meeting
The next monthly Board meeting will be held on
April 27, 2015 at 6:00pm
 in the City Market Community Conference Room. Members are welcome to attend! More information about our Board of Directors can be found on our website.

We welcomed
new Members in March!

VBSR (local event/jobs)

Link 2

NOFA-VT (good read/local events/jobs):

Vermont Nature Conservancy (volunteer/local events)



Volunteer Opportunities
Welcome to our newly launched TNC Volunteer newsletter. Check out volunteer opportunities, interesting events and workshops, and learn about what we’re working on in the Green Mountain State.Unless otherwise noted, all workdays are from 9:30AM – 1:30PM. Contact us to learn more: volunteervt@tnc.org or 802 229 4425 x111
upside down why

Join us in removing invasive Garlic Mustard from our beautiful preserves. For adventurous eaters–you can take some home to make pesto! April 30th: Williams Woods, Charlotte
 May 5th: Williams Woods, Charlotte
 May 7th: Williams Woods, Charlotte
 May 21st: Williams Woods, Charlotte
 May 28th: Raven Ridge, Monkton
 June 2nd: Williams Woods, Charlotte
 June 4th: Williams Woods, Charlotte
TREE PLANTING WORK DAYSApril 22: EARTH DAY!We will be planting 450 tree seedlings at Hubbardton River Clayplain Natural Area.  We are looking for 30-40 volunteers.    May 14th: Come help us plant disease tolerant elm seedlings at White River Ledges in Sharon/Pomfret



UPCOMING EVENTSApril 29th: Free DamNation Film
Long Trail School, Dorset, VT
Learn about the issues that dams bring to our rivers in this riveting film.
Doors open at 6pm. Q&A to followMay 2nd: Free Invasive Workshop for Landowners
Equinox Preserve, Manchester, VT
Are you a landowner? Spend a spring day in the woods learning about invasive plants

May 9th: Free Invasive Workshop for Landowners
Raven Ridge Preserve, Charlotte, VT
Are you a landowner? Spend a spring day in the woods learning about invasive plants

May 26th: Free Invasive Workshop for Land Management Professionals
Pew Forest Preserve, Manchester, VT
Invasive plants are taking over our forested lands. As land management professionals it
is critical that you are well trained.

VCGN (good read/local events/workshop):

Vermont Community Garden Network
April 2015 Newsletter

“Gardens, scholars say, are the first sign of commitment to a community. When people plant corn they are saying, let’s stay here. And by their connection to the land, they are connected to one another.”

~ Anne Raver
The long awaited spring is finally here! Although the ground is still frozen, there are lots of opportunities to get ready for the growing season. The spring Grow It! workshops start soon at sites all over the state, and in Burlington, it’s time to sign up for the Community Teaching Garden and Day in the Dirt.
We’re looking forward to seeing all our garden friends!
~ Jess, Libby, Carolina, Denise, and Livia
An Eventful March

The past month was filled with exciting events as we prepare for the spring growing season!
Thanks to all who participated in the 5th Annual Burlington Seed Swap! More than 100 garden enthusiasts exchanged seeds of many types and varieties. Big thank you to our donors and partnering organizations including: High Mowing Seeds, Burlington Permaculture, Burlington Parks, Recreation and Waterfront, Grow Team ONE, author Ron Krupp, and Friends of the Fletcher Free Library. 

VCGN also had a great time at Jr. Iron Chef VT earlier in the month. During the youth cooking competition, as the scent of delicious food and the hum of middle school and high school
chefs working together filled the venue, VCGN entertained families and friends with a seed starting activity to introduce young and new gardeners to the world of seeds and planting. Congratulations to all the Jr. Iron Chef winners and participants. Check out Burlington Free Press’s coverage of the event!
April is full of more fun garden activities and events. See the sidebar on the right for what’s coming up.

Garden Spotlight: 
Archibald Neighborhood Garden


A few simple words marked the end of a long and complicated process and an exciting start to the next chapter in the life of the Archibald Neighborhood Garden in Burlington’s Old North End… “Final Resolution: Motion Passes.”
On Monday, March 23, Burlington City Council approved the purchase of the land from the VNA of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties. The next step is a public process to finalize the remediation plan, then some hard work on the site, and the garden will be back in full production this year – better than ever!

A public meeting on the remediation plan will be held at the Integrated Arts Academy located at 6 Archibald St., in Burlington on April 8 at 6:30 PM. Come learn about the city’s purchase of the property and plans to rehabilitate the site so that it can be a vibrant neighborhood garden for years to come. More info here.

Many, many thanks go out to Dan Cahill and Jesse Bridges at Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront for their diligent work over the past few years making this happen, Beverly Boget at the VNA for being an advocate for the garden since it started in 2007, the City Council Finance Committee for their thorough review, and the full City Council for their final approval.
And of course, special thanks to all the gardeners and Grow Team ONE members past and present who make the Archibald Neighborhood garden such a special place.

Community Teaching Gardens

Registration deadline April 17!

The Community Teaching Garden is a fun, hands-on, adult beginner organic vegetable gardening course. Participants learn how to plant, cultivate, harvest, and preserve fresh vegetables in a fun and supportive learning environment.

Classes are held twice a week from May through September at two locations:

  • Ethan Allen HomesteadMonday and Thursdayevenings
  • Tommy Thompson Community Garden at the Intervale, Wednesday evenings and Saturdaymornings.
Once a month we have potlucks which bring together the classes and other gardener guests, and gives us a chance to share garden fresh recipes.
With the program running for 22 weeks, there is lots of time to learn, make friends, and enjoy good food from start to finish!
To learn more about the course including fees, the Community Teaching Garden blog, photos and stories click here.
Registration deadline is slowly approaching. Register here byApril 17th.

DirtDay in the Dirt!
On May 9, 150 volunteers will work on school and community garden projects around the city to give gardens a spring boost and raise funds for the Vermont Community Garden Network.
Day in the Dirt! is very important to our garden partners to get a kick start for the growing season. Businesses sponsor employee teams and community members sign up to work on one of the 10 garden projects.

This event raises essential funds for VCGN to continue to support community gardens around the state. These funds are used for workshops, technical assistance, and essential gardening equipment to keep gardens growing strong in their communities.
Click here to sign up! Registration closes April 24.
Big thanks to our Sponsors:

RootSkills Networking & Training Retreat

The New England Grassroots Environment Fund is holding RootSkills Training Series on April 10 and 11 in New Bedford, MA.

Join community innovators and activists from all over New England for RootSkills for a day of skill building, designed especially for grassroots organizers!


The retreat is intended to re-invigorate the soul, gives a chance to reflect on our work, and work on the skills we need to be successful. It is also a great chance to connect with other community leaders, share ideas, and relax.


More info and registration can be found here.

We are stronger when we grow together
Become a VCGN member!

Become a VCGN member to receive free seeds and materials, gain access to funding and technical support, and receive discounts at garden retailers and for workshops.

Any community or school based garden is eligible to join, with membership fees based on garden group size and structure. For more information on how to sign up and membership eligibility, visit our website.

The Toolshed: Tips for Garden Leaders

By Libby Weiland 

Your March tip: The days are approaching when your community or school garden will transition from dream to reality-buzzing with people, plants, and other life!


By now you should already have an idea of the basic structure of your garden-whether the beds will be individually or communally maintained. However, every garden has additional work to keep up with and communal spaces to maintain. How will the work get done at your garden? What systems, people, and schedules need to be in place to maintain its beauty and productivity? And how can you foster a participatory garden community while you’re at it? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • All Together Now – Garden-wide work parties bring all gardeners together to accomplish large projects and care for communal spaces in the garden. Start with one at the beginning of the season and then periodically throughout, so that gardeners can get to know each other and you can stay on top of the work…
  • A Volunteer Approach – Depending on your garden’s structure, your volunteers might be community gardeners looking to fulfill required hours or additional volunteers from outside of the garden community…
  • Delegated Leadership – People are more likely to stay involved in a project if they have some sense of ownership. Some groups call on gardeners serve as “stewards.” Similarly, other groups, particularly in school settings, have “crews.”

To read the full Toolshed Tip, follow this link.

Since 2001, the Vermont Community Garden Network (formerly known as Friends of Burlington Gardens) has worked with community and school groups to start, sustain and grow gardens, building strong local food systems and vibrant educational sites.

The monthly VCGN Newsletter provides garden-based news, resources, and events to more than 2,600 gardeners and garden leaders all over the state.

We welcome your comments and suggestions. Send your garden news and events to info@vcgn.org. For even more current information and updates, connect to VCGN and other gardens on Facebook and Twitter.
We’d love to hear from you!
Jess Hyman, Executive Director
Libby Weiland, Program Manager
Carolina Lukac, Garden Education Specialist
Denise Quick, Community Teaching Garden Instructor
Livia Donicova, Communications Intern/Newsletter Editor
In This Issue

Be a part of 
the state’s vibrant community and school garden network.
We need YOUR help to keep growing gardens, gardeners, and garden leaders.
Thank you!  

Become a VCGN member for discounts to Grow It! workshops, Gardener’s Supply, and more!

Upcoming Events
Friday, April 10, doors open at 6 p.m. at the Old Brick Church in Williston  
The Band features Bob Amos on banjo, guitar and vocals, Sarah Amos on vocals, Freeman Corey on fiddle, Bob Dick on bass, Gary Darling on mandolin and Steve Wright on guitar. The band puts on a very entertaining high energy show, with stellar vocals, terrific original material, plus some great new interpretations of some bluegrass classics. There will also be an art exhibit by featured visual artist Judy Brook and refreshments at intermission.

Burlington Area Community Gardens Potluck – Saturday, April 11, 5:30pm at the Miller Recreation Center (130 Gosse Court, Burlington) Join community gardeners to kick of the gardening season with great food and company. The guest speaker is Michaela Ryan of New Village Farm and a great silent auction will benefit the BACG scholarship fund. Bring a dish to share and your own plate and cup. Open to all gardeners and friends!


Farm to School Curriculum Workshop – Monday, April 13, 4:30- 7:30pm at Bingham School in Cornwall. ACORN and VT-FEED will host a working session where educators bring their ideas and questions, learn about ways to address the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, and have time and space for supported curriculum planning. $20, incluiding a light dinner. Pre-registration is required. Email Emily Hoyler atemily@acornvt.org to register or for more info.


RootSkills workshops for grassroots leaders April 10 – 11 in New Bedford, MA. The registration fee is $95 and includes all events (Friday dinner, reception, lodging, Saturdaybreakfast, lunch & workshops) OR $40 forSaturday workshops & lunch. Scholarships and limited childcare stipends are available. More info.


Check our events page to stay up to date.



Grow It! 
Spring Workshops for Garden Leaders
Join Vermont Community Garden Network and Charlie Nardozzi for a spring workshop near you!
The spring workshops focus on strengthening garden leadership  and growing a network of support for gardens.
Participants learn strategies to boost their gardens and programs, share ideas and problem-solve with fellow garden leaders. Each workshop is hosted by a local community or school garden.

CTGRegister for our 2015 Community Teaching Garden Class in Burlington!
The Community Teaching Garden (CTG) is a fun, hands-on, adult beginner organic vegetable gardening course in Burlington. Participants learn how to plant, cultivate, harvest, and preserve fresh vegetables in a fun and supportive learning environment.
Classes are held twice a week from May through September at two locations, the Ethan Allen Homestead
and Tommy Thompson Community Garden at the Intervale.
Read more and register here.


SEED Grant –  VCGN and the New England Grassroots Environment Fund have a dedicated pool of funding for community and school gardens with an educational component. In addition to fund of $250-$1,000, grantees receive specialized technical assistance from VCGN and vouchers to attend a Grow It! garden leader training session in their area. This new grant partnership is made possible by The Bay & Paul Foundations.The online application process is easy and you’ll hear back within four weeks. Application deadline: April 17.

More info.

For more grant postings visit our Grants page.


The Vermont Department of Health and Vermont Community Garden Network, in partnership with Charlie Nardozzi and Gardener’s Supply, have awarded a second round of grants for small businesses to establish workplace food gardens. Learn more about the program and this year’s grantees here.
Get Your Garden on the Map!

Join our growing network of community and school gardens!
VCGN has a Garden Directory which shows the nearly 400 community, school and group gardens around the state.
Is your garden on our map?
The Directory is a great resource for helping people find your garden and connecting you to other garden organizations. With our directory, you can create a profile to add a garden listing or update an existing one.
Check out the map and connect with a garden near you!
Newsletter Archive

Like our
 for updates, photos, and lots of garden news from around the state!
Vermont Community Garden Network
Vermont Community Garden Network | 802-861-4769

info@vcgn.org | https://www.vcgn.org