Each season, gardeners and our garden coordinator at The Garden at 485 Elm decide what to grow. We plant as much of each crop as we think will feed the number of gardeners who have committed to being part of this community garden, plus more to donate.
But life changes. Gardeners take less food than they’d planned. Some crops yield way more food than we thought they would. Ripeness happens all at once and we can’t always be here to harvest everything that’s ready to eat.
Instead of composting uneaten food, we formed a partnership with Community Harvest of Central Vermont. The CVCH director and volunteers glean “to recover surplus food produced on Central Vermont farms and to utilize this recovered food to feed those in our community who have limited access to healthy, fresh local food.”
CVCH is a member of the Vermont Gleaning Collective, an initiative of Salvation Farms. Salvation Farms estimates that every growing season in Vermont, two million pounds of food goes unharvested or unsold/unused. In 2014, the Vermont Gleaning Collective’s organizations recovered and distributed 120,000 lbs of that food — 29,000 of it in Washington County.
We learned all that and more last week when Community Harvest of Central Vermont’s director Allison Levin spent a beautiful evening talking and noshing with us in the garden.
The Garden at 485 Elm hosts this and other events that are open to the public. Join us on July 2 for Gentle Yoga in the Garden. Still to come this summer: an herb walk and other workshops.