Growing Together: January Newsletter

Growing into a New Year

Happy 2020! This is the time of year for recommitting to health goals, making new habits, and embarking on new endeavors to raise the quality of our lives and the lives of our neighbors. As we work to keep our resolutions, it behooves us to ask ourselves: What tools can help us meet our goals?

Being a part of a gardening organization you might say we’re a bit partial to one particular tool that can help you put fresh healthy food on your table, get you outside and active, provide you with opportunities to connect and share your bounty with friends, colleagues and neighbors, and support your goals to learn new skills. Well, gardens of course:) Here are a few ways we can help you:

  • Give us a call (802-861-4769) for advice on starting a garden, planting a few pots of veggies & herbs, and everything in between.
  • Check out our online Garden Organizer Toolkit for tools to get your community organized around gardens.
  • Read this month’s Toolshed Tips: Support Your Resolutions–Garden at Work! and hear from employee gardeners around the state about how workplace gardens help to meet personal and organizational goals. Interested in starting a workplace garden or offering garden lunch-and-learn workshops? Check out VCGN’s Green Thumbs at Work Services.
  • Please consider supporting us through a VCGN Membership to help sustain training & education, technical assistance, resources and networking opportunities for gardeners across the state.
  • Read on for more ways to connect, learn, and grow!

Grow your own food, medicine, flowers, and community in 2020.

Join our six month gardening course! We gather on Wednesday evenings for hands-on lessons in organic gardening techniques, and one Saturday a month for make-and-take workshops.  Our January early bird registration fee is $500 – an immense value for your own & shared plots, all the lesson hours, gardening resources, weekly harvests, and garden-made products you take home!

Click here for online registration for the 2020 Community Teaching Garden Course. Visit our FAQs page for more information.

2020 Thriving Gardens Grant

What does it mean to THRIVE? What role can gardens play? Grants and planning assistance are now available to support existing and newly forming garden groups for Garden Improvement Projects and Garden Start-up Projects. Support will be available in the form of small grants, training, and planning support. Grants are available for VCGN Members only. Learn more about our membership program.

Apply by Feb 19th. Info and application link on our Thriving Gardens Grant page.



We’re Growing Our Team!  

Hiring Local Garden Coordinators: In partnership with Housing Vermont, Addison County Community Trust, and Downstreet Housing, VCGN is hiring three part-time seasonal Garden Coordinators, in Addison and Washington Counties. Coordinators will work closely with affordable housing communities to provide garden management support and teach gardening and related skills. Job descriptions and instructions for applying can be found on our Jobs page. Apply by January 31, 2020.

Summer Internship Opportunities: We are offering two internship opportunities in 2020 to participate in garden education programming with children, adults, and seniors at community-based gardens in Burlington. Visit our Internships page to see the full internship descriptions. Apply by February 14, 2020.

Garden Events & Activities

Get the network involved by submitting your next event directly to our submission page (submit garden related events at least 2 weeks in advance).

What’s coming up… a few highlights 
(Find these and more on our Statewide Garden Calendar)


  • The Friendly Toast Charity of the Month (the month of January): The charity drink this month is the Jackie Treehorn Mimosa.  $1 for every one sold this month goes to benefit VCGN and garden communities across the state! The Friendly Toast, 86 St. Paul St., Burlington. 
  • Community Composting Team Building Webinar (Jan 21, 1:00-2:15pm): The first webinar in a two-part series will address roles and tasks, training and retaining volunteers, and share lessons learned through case studies of community composting at rural sites, community gardens, and housing developments. Pre-registration required.
  • Burlington Seed Swap (March 7, 11:00am-2:00pm): This free event includes networking with gardeners and related organizations, and lots of free seeds. Celebrate the growing season and bring your own non-GMO seeds to share and swap. Fletcher Free Library, 235 College St., Burlington.
  • American Flatbread Benefit Bake (April 7, 5:30pm-close): A portion of proceeds from every pie purchased on April 7 go to support VCGN!
  • Day in the Dirt (April 25-May 3): Save the date for the 8th Annual Day in the Dirt! This is our largest fundraiser and service day of the year! Volunteers join a team, raise funds and gather to complete a project at a garden site.  All money raised supports both the participating gardens and VCGN’s Gardens for Learning program to teach and feed children at risk of summertime hunger. New in 2020: Expanded dates for hosting projects!

Upcoming Partner Events/Activities:

  • UVM Extension Master Gardener Course (Register by Jan 15): Learn to create a healthy, sustainable home landscape & grow your own food in a 16-week online course–Jan 17 through the week of May 11.
  • Gardener’s Supply 2020 Winter/Spring Seminars (various dates, starting Jan 18): A broad range of topics, from low maintenance garden tips to heirloom gardening, at store locations in Burlington, Williston, and Lebanon, NH.
  • NOFA-VT Winter Conference (Register by Feb 10 for special rates; Conference Feb 15-17): Gather with farmers, homesteaders, gardeners, land managers, educators, producers, and other food-system activists to share ideas, resources, and skills and celebrate all we are making happen together. UVM, Davis Center, 590 Main St., Burlington.

Fund your Garden

Need funding for your garden project? Go to VCGN’s Garden Grants page for a regularly updated list. Here are a few upcoming highlights. Visit our website for details, links and rolling deadline grants.

  • American Honda Foundation – for youth education, specifically in the areas STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and the environment (Application deadline Feb 1)
  • VCGN Thriving Gardens Grant – for existing and newly forming garden groups for projects that support the growth of thriving gardens (Application deadline Feb 19)
  • The Northeast Farm to School Institute – for school and early childhood teams from New England and New York (Application deadline Feb 28)

Connect with other Garden Leaders

Our closed Facebook group serves as a forum for your garden management questions, and as a place to post and request resources: Join the group!

Grow With Us!

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 make a donation today!

Join the movement! 

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Since 2001, the Vermont Community Garden Network 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!

Michelle Gates, Executive Director
Libby Weiland, Statewide Network Coordinator
Carolina Lukac, Garden Education Manager


802-861-4769 |

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Vermont Community Garden Network, 1 Mill St., Suite 200, Burlington, VT 05401