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

University of Vermont TREK Team: Gratitude All Around

For several season, the garden has partnered with the University of Vermont TREK program’s service track for incoming first-year students. Enthusiastic teams spend a couple of hours pitching in to help projects feeding the community, including community gardens like this one.

The TREK team was undeterred by the rain as a longtime 485 Elm gardener and garden leader introduced the afternoon’s activities.
A huge task was turning the garden waste windrow. To the left, on the uphill side, gardeners have been piling garden waste. Late each summer, the windrow gets turned downhill to continue breaking down. Some seasons, the compost that nourishes the garden’s soil comes entirely from this windrow.
How do we feel about help from these young, strong, enthusiastic students? So very grateful.
Trek team members accomplished another big task: They dug up weeds and crabgrass on overgrown walkways between raised beds of greens and herbs. After pulling tape and labels off cardboard boxes and cutting them to size, team members laid cardboard in the rows and covered them with wood chips, brought up wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow. These results are professional.
During their task, the team found carrots growing in those hemlock boxes. Each enjoyed a carrot.

The tasty carrots were a huge hit. The longest carrot found that day took two people digging for ten minutes to unearth!

Team members harvested tasty pole beans and shared them with friends through the fence.

Perhaps the most memorable part of gardening is allowing the senses to take in the aromas of herbs, the sights of ripening crops, blooming flowers, and volunteer plants, and the taste of the freshest food possible. Team members left with some cucumbers, herbs, and dried catnip to share. This day, gratitude was flowing in all directions.