The Garden at 485 Elm grows along the North Branch of the Winooski River, a mile north of the city of Montpelier. On July 10 and 11, six to nine inches of rain fell, swelling the rivers and inundating the city and surrounding streets of homes and businesses. Flood-recovery work is well underway, but it will be a long time until anything resembling normal emerges.
Vermont farms were devastated, many losing their entire season of crops. Visit NOFA-VT for ways to help them help farmers and to help affected farms directly.
Farms grown by immigrants were especially hard hit. Learn more about that on Vermont Public, and direct donations to help these communities and others affected by the flood at the Vermont Community Foundation’s VT Flood Response and Recovery Fund 2023.
The Vermont Intervale, a nonprofit organization and glorious stretch of land hosting seven farms, was severely flooded. Learn more about it and how to help here.
The Garden at 485 Elm sits on higher ground above the North Branch and was spared. We watched as floodwaters approached our lower gate and then stopped and, eventually, receded. Many of our sister community gardens and our neighbors’ personal gardens were not.
The FEAST Farm, which had been growing food for Montpelier’s Meals on Wheels program, the Montpelier Senior Center, and its farmstand, was wiped out for the season. The City of Montpelier reported:
The largest loss for Community Services was our FEAST Farm. The flooding swept through the fields and resulted in 100% crop loss, which means there will be no further produce for either our FEAST Farmstand or Meals on Wheels meals for the rest of the season. We will lean on the support of our community partners to supplement our Meals on Wheels meals during this time.
We will post opportunities to help community gardens and growers as we learn of them.