Green Thumbs At Work

Garden Grants for Small Businesses

Apply for the 2017 Green Thumbs at Work Grant Program!
Click here for an online application.

Want a sneak peek?  Here’s a list of questions you’ll find on the application for your preview.

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.

Charlie Nardozzi giving a hands-on demo on ‘thinning’ to ARIS Solutions employee gardeners during their summer site visit

Charlie Nardozzi giving a hands-on demo on ‘thinning’ to ARIS Solutions employee gardeners during their summer site visit

The Green Thumbs at Work grants are open to any Vermont business or organization with 100 or fewer employees.  The total grant award is $1,700, which includes $500 for materials, a $200 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.

**Check out our latest article on Green Thumbs at Work in Vermont Business Magazine.

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

“I’m eating healthier, I’m getting out and getting some exercise I wouldn’t normally get and it has brought something very positive to my life…the impact of your gardening program goes far beyond the businesses you have helped get started. Without this program, I truly doubt I would have ever even thought about giving it a try, and now it is a major focus of my summer.”
– Susan Golden, Washington Electric Co-op, East Montpelier, 2015 Green thumbs at Work grantee

Upper Valley Food Co-op employees Crystal Mondos and Chris Jacobson take a garden break. (Photo courtesy of Upper Valley Food Co-op)

Upper Valley Food Co-op employees Crystal Mondor and Chris Jacobson take a garden break. (Photo courtesy of Upper Valley Food Co-op)

The biggest success of the season was:

“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.

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

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

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), 2015 (seven grantees), and 2016 (ten grantees).  See the full list of grantees below.

Green Thumbs in the news:

LocalBanquet-Summer2016-CoverRead the article about Green Thumbs At Work in the Summer 2016 issue of Vermont’s Local Banquet.

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:

2016 Winners

  • 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

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 Grant Program is a partnership of the Vermont Department of Health and Vermont Community Garden Network with support from Charlie Nardozzi, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, and Gardener’s Supply Company.

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With generous sponsorship from:

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