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

Our Mothership: the Vermont Community Garden Network

The Vermont Community Garden Network (VCGN) has been there for us since before we dug up the south lawn and invited the community to garden together here.

Way back in the winter of 2014, I went looking for a community-garden template (my favorite way to work). I Googled “Vermont community gardens,” found VCGN, and hitched our wagon to it.

The Garden at 485 Elm was the first garden to join VCGN’s then-new membership program. VCGN has been providing

  • Seed donations to community gardens
  • Tools and other material resources
  • Technical and organizational support; VCGN’s responsiveness to every question we’ve thrown at them continues to wow me
  • Workshops and classes (now virtual) that help us continue doing what we do here
  • Grants as well as VCGN’s fiscal sponsorship that allows us to apply for grants
  • Connection to other community gardeners and our fellow Vermont gardening and food-producing communities
  • Opportunities to present at and attend VCGN workshops, the NOFA conference, and other events, and help others who are starting and maintaining community gardens

VCGN emphasizes growing gardens, gardeners, and garden leaders, encouraging teamwork and leadership from within. That shapes how we do things here.

Here’s some of what VCGN is doing with our membership fees and donations to the organization.