The People's Garden
By Tessa Lightfoot (Event Coordinator Intern)
We are gearing up for summer over here at the Intervale Center and are happy to announce that the People’s Garden is back! On June 15th, volunteers from the Vermont Technical College Nursing Program joined us to plant the expanded garden and prepare for the upcoming season.
Under the direction of Sarah Alexander, our Gleaning and Food Access Manager, we spent the morning planting rows of flowers (cosmos, zinnias, snapdragons, calendula, and more) plus tons of veggies and herbs: basil, parsley, scallions, hot and sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, watermelon. We are super excited about the 200ft of watermelon we planted! The watermelon transplants were generously donated to us from Diggers’ Mirth Collective Farm – an Intervale farm known for their delicious melons! All of the other veggies we started from seed ourselves back in April. We are looking forward to watching the plot transform throughout the summer as the plants grow and bring the land to life.
The People’s Garden was started in 2018 as a pick-your-own supplement to the Fair Share program. To give a bit of background, this program provides gleaned produce from the Intervale and other local farms to 200 income eligible households and 20 social service organizations at no cost, July through October. Rather than throwing out excess or imperfect produce, we redistribute those goods to the Fair Share program in order to help food insecure individuals and families gain access to fresh, local food. Now, when folks arrive at the Intervale Center to pick up their Fair Share CSA, they can head out to the People’s Garden to pick one or two additional crops. This year we added three elevated beds to accommodate our senior Fair Share members and to provide “no-bend” gardening opportunities. The People’s Garden also serves our regular “pop-up” produce markets at The Family Room and the Winooski Food Shelf.
Interested in volunteering in the People’s Garden? Email Hannah@intervale.org to set-up a time!