The Garden at 485 Elm
People growing together:
a collaborative community garden in Montpelier, Vermont

From the internet to the dinner table

The Garden at 485 Elm Street, Montpelier is in the Vermont Council on Rural Development's Vermont Digital Economy Project -- check out the full report here:

The Garden at 485 Elm was part of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s Vermont Digital Economy Project. Check out the full report here:


The website reads:

Front Porch Forum’s mission is to help neighbors connect and build community. We do that by hosting regional networks of online neighborhood forums.

Front Porch Forum certainly upheld its mission when it comes to The Garden at 485 Elm.

It all began in January 2013 when I posted on Front Porch Forum seeking people who needed gardening space. My husband and I have a sunny, flat, south-facing lawn in a hilly, tree-lined city with tiny yards. We know little about gardening but wanted to promote local food and self-sufficiency. And eat well. We figured a few people would come garden here and leave us some veggies in exchange for the growing space.

So many people responded that the natural next step became forming a community garden. Now The Garden at 485 Elm works in partnership with the Montpelier Parks Department (who did the first tilling of our garden beds) and benefits from the support of private organizations like Montpelier Construction, which renovated the garden shed Parks gave us and donated leftover materials from other projects.

Most importantly, The Garden at 485 Elm provided growing space and all necessary materials for nearly two dozen local gardeners who grew food for themselves, their families, and their neighbors.

We were lucky enough to include Rob Fish, Nonprofit Adviser, Vermont Digital Economy among our gardeners. Rob connected us with VCRD‘s Vermont Digital Economy Project.

We grew enough food that Community Harvest of Central Vermont brought volunteers and did two gleanings. They picked nearly 200 pounds of food which went to local organizations feeding hungry Vermonters.

We’re already preparing for the 2015 gardening season, which begins in February with planting seeds and nurturing starts. There’s room for new gardeners thanks to productivity-increase techniques we’ll be implementing.

All this from postings on Front Porch Forum. The virtual connection led to real community building on the ground, literally.

Want to join or ask questions? Email