Garden Showcase Presenters

By Livia Donicova

Garden Showcase 2015

The Garden at 485 Elm

NOFAnetworking485ElmIn Montpelier, VT, between the North Branch River and Elm St, lies The Garden at 485 Elm. This small community garden is all about offering affordable growing space for surrounding residents. The Garden Manager, Sheryl Rapee-Adams, was tremendously enthusiastic about being at the NOFA-VT Winter Conference and particularly at VCGN’s Garden Showcase. After speaking with Fresh Start Community Farm garden leaders, Sheryl exclaimed “That conversation right there was worth me being here this whole weekend – I just got great insight on one of our garden expansion problems.” To read more and get involved with The Garden at 485 Elm, click here.

Good Food Good Medicine

NOFAnetworkingGoodFoodGoodMedicineWorking at two low-income housing sites in Barre, VT, Good Food Good Medicine Program is about bringing justice and education into these communities. Garden leader Sarah Zettlemeyer states that, “we work with elder generations and children to create an interest in the value of gardening and cooking with whole foods for life long skills.” Through increasing resident’s independence and food security, Good Food Good Medicine is addressing personal and communal wellness.

New Farms for New Americans

NOFAnetworkingNewFarmsforNewAmericansNew Farms for New Americans, as Showcase presenter Navah Stein describes, is “about bringing people together to grow and share culturally specific foods in order to keep their memories and beliefs alive…” New Farms for New Americans primarily works with refugees and immigrants in providing subsistence size plots to participants. According to Navah, the goal of the organization is to be the middleman – to increase access and self-sufficiency of New Americans without having them depend on an organization for food.

NOFAnetworking-ProviderPatch&MVG-GriffinProvider Patch Farm at College of St. Joseph & Marble Valley Grows

Provider Patch is a garden developed by the College of St. Joseph to educate and feed the campus community as well as the greater Rutland area. This collaborative effort run by farmers, students and community members produces organic and nutritious food for the campus dining hall and Open Door Mission, a food-access organization.  Marble Valley Grows is a new organization working with Rutland County Schools to encourage hands-on learning to source and explore local foods and close the food loop.  The group supports schools through professional development, garden planning assistance, micro grants, and more.

VNA Family Room NOFAnetworkingVNAfamilyroom

The VNA Family Room Garden works with parents and children to foster strong family connections through outdoor education, gardening, and cooking classes. “This is a place for gardeners to share their knowledge, enthusiasm and food experiences with each other,” says Sarah Sinnott, Family and Children Services Coordinator at the Family Room. Be sure to check out VCGN’s Garden Spotlight of VNA Family Room’s Family Play Program.


NOFAnetworking10Mount Anthony Union Middle School New Roots Gardens For Learning

New Roots Garden for Learning is part of a sustainability course created at Mount Anthony Union Middle School (MAUMS).  About 150 7th and 8th graders participate each year, planting and growing food as well as learning to cook with the foods they grow and buy from their local CSA.  Additionally MAUMS New Roots Garden for Learning is used by students through an after school and summer program.  For more info on the program and garden-based lessons go to

Fresh Start Community Farm NOFAgroupdiscussion

Located in Newport, VT, Fresh Start Community Farm reclaims green spaces around their city for communal, volunteer-run community gardens.  At the Showcase the group featured their “Adopt-a-Grandparent” program.  The program matches kids in the garden with area seniors, providing time for the them to connect. The seniors tell stories and teach their gardening skills to the kids, who help with tasks the seniors aren’t able to do themselves.  Fresh Start is working to reach seniors in the community who might not otherwise be able to garden, whether it’s due to lack of space or physical limitations.

NOFAnetworking3Grow Team ONE

Grow Team ONE (Old North End) is Burlington’s volunteer run grassroots organization with two garden locations – Archibald Garden and Riverside Garden. The two gardens offer safe and affordable space for residents and youth groups alike.  Featured at the Showcase: The group at the Riverside Garden is currently working to make gardening affordable for residents of the neighboring Riverside Apartments and increase access to culturally familiar foods through the garden.


Click here for resources and more details from the Community & School Garden Track at the 2015 NOFA-VT Winter Conference.