Written by Jessie Barber
The 2014 “growing” season has been just that, in more than one sense of the word. Currently spanning about one and a half acres and feeding the 45 people who call Heartbeet home, the Heartbeet gardens were bustling with activity and hard work this summer. Regular workshop crews included as many as eight people, and on many a sunny Sunday afternoon 15-20 community members came out to the fields for weeding parties, complete with lemonade drinking, hose spraying, and of course lots of weed pulling.
Such a high level of community involvement was essential to the vitality and production of the gardens this summer, and was supported by the “Green Thumbs at Work Garden Grant,” which Heartbeet was awarded this past spring. The grant program, aimed at improving employee health and increasing involvement in the gardens, is a partnership of the Vermont Department of Health, Vermont Community Garden Network, Charlie Nardozzi, and Gardener’s Supply.
Last week (September 8, 2014), Charlie Nardozzi paid a visit to Heartbeet to see how the gardens were growing, to lend his advice, and to learn how the grant has been supportive. For this community, receiving the “Green Thumbs at Work” grant allowed the Garden workshop to invest in some much needed tools and supplies, tools and supplies which were put into the hands of the many community members who came together to help grow Heartbeet’s food this summer. These nutritious vegetables will continue to feed the Heartbeet community into the snowy months of early 2015.
For more information about the grant program and the Vermont Community Garden Network visit VCGN.
Also, check out Charlie’s current newsletter here.