Green Thumbs At Work

Garden Grants for Small Businesses

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Read the article about Green Thumbs At Work in the Summer 2016 issue of Vermont’s Local Banquet.

Congratulations to the 2016 Green Thumbs at Work Awardees!

  • Abel’s Homestead Design, LLC in Hyde Park
  • ARIS Solutions in White River Junction
  • Community Restorative Justice Center in St. Johnsbury
  • Lamoille Restorative Center in Hyde Park
  • Morristown After School Program in Morristown
  • Orange County Parent Child Center in Tunbridge
  • Putney Food Co-op in Putney
  • Rural Edge in Lyndonville
  • Town of Killington Offices in Killington
  • Upper Valley Food Co-op in White River Junction

Read up on the latest developments with this year’s Green Thumbs at Work employee gardens in our post “Transforming Concrete Landscapes.”

The Vermont Department of Health and Vermont Community Garden Network, in partnership with Charlie Nardozzi, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, and Gardener’s Supply, offer grants for small businesses to establish workplace food gardens for their employees.

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Charlie Nardozzi and the garden team at Carris Reels-Plastics Division in Center Rutland.

The Green Thumbs at Work grants are open to any Vermont business or organization with fewer than 50 employees.  The total grant award is $1,750, which includes $500 for materials, a $250 Gardener’s Supply gift certificate, and $1,000 of garden planning support and technical assistance from horticulturalist Charlie Nardozzi and the Vermont Community Garden Network.

The Green Thumbs at Work program provides a means of physical activity and stress reduction, increases access to fresh produce, and promotes opportunities for other wellness activities. The employees must be the primary users of the garden and beneficiaries of the food.

The technical assistance provided through the grant program helps each business determine the type and size of garden that best meets its needs, and develop strategies to ensure the garden will be successful throughout the first growing season and for years to come.

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Weeding together at Mad River Valley Ambulance Service in Waitsfield.

In the words of past Green Thumbs grantees:

“We wanted people to have a reason to get away from their desks and enjoy the sunshine. We also wanted people to bond across teams, as we often only work with our own small group of teammates. It was a huge success on both counts!”
Jennifer Michelle, Open Tempo, Williston, 2015 Green Thumbs at Work grantee

“The garden was a team effort and it brought the staff together for a common purpose and helped to build morale.”
– Anna White, Community Health Centers of the Rutland Region, Pawlett, 2015 Green Thumbs at Work grantee

The biggest success of the season was:

garden harvest lunch at TJ Mold and Tool in St. Johnsbury.

Garden harvest lunch at TJ Mold and Tool in St. Johnsbury.

“Having fresh veggies that the employees could use at lunch during the day or take some home.”
– Joe Peters, TJ Mold and Tool, St. Johnsbury, 2014 Green Thumbs at Work grantee

“Sparking conversations around healthier/clean eating with employees that previously were not interested in the wellness program.”
Holly Zelenkewich, Milton CAT, Richmond, 2015 Green Thumbs at Work grantee

Grant winners will be selected based on readiness to develop a workplace garden, including the existence of a wellness coordinator or wellness committee, the ability to provide matching funds and in-kind services for garden development, employee participation, and clear articulation of how the garden will help meet employee wellness goals.

Past Green Thumbs at Work grant programs

The Vermont Department of Health and Vermont Community Garden Network awarded food garden grants to small businesses and organizations around the state in 2014 (nine grantees) and 2015 (seven grantees).  See the full list of grantees below.

Green Thumbs in the news: Check out this VPR story featuring one of our 2015 winners!

Green Thumbs has also been featured on the WCAX and WPTZ:

Green Thumbs at Work Grantees

2015 Winners

  • Carris Reels-Plastics Division in Center Rutland
  • Milton CAT in Richmond
  • Mettowee Valley Family Health Center in West Pawlet (Community Health Centers of the Rutland Region)
  • NEKCA Head Start in Barton
  • Open Tempo in Williston
  • Sunrise Family Resource Center in Bennington
  • Washington Electric Coop in East Montpelier

2014 Winners

  • Heartbeet Lifesharing in Hardwick
  • Mad River Valley Ambulance Service in Waitsfield
  • Orange County Parent Child Center in Chelsea
  • Trudell Consulting Engineers in Williston
  • Vermont Soap in Middlebury.
  • ACT 1/Bridge Program in Burlington
  • Black River Good Neighbor Services in Ludlow
  • Sunderland School in Sunderland
  • TJ Mold and Tool in St. Johnsbury

Click here for Vermont Department of Health Worksite Wellness resources.

The Green Thumbs at Work Food Garden Grant Program is a partnership of the Vermont Department of Health, Vermont Community Garden Network and Charlie Nardozzi.

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With generous sponsorship from:

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