Montgomery Community Gardens
Montgomery Community Gardens was formed in 2006 to educate and encourage people in Montgomery and surrounding towns to grow their own food. Although many people in our rural town enjoy growing their own vegetables, far too many residents either lack the knowledge and skills to garden or do not have access to a good site for a garden. Montgomery Community Gardens supports the establishment of community gardens throughout the town and promotes food education in the elementary school and elsewhere in town.
As interest in gardening in the United States has increased enormously over the past 15 years, so to has our dependence upon foods grown thousands of miles away from where we live. Montgomery has been loosing its connection to agriculture since the 1960's. As the number of farms in town has dwindled, so too have we lost the farming culture and our understanding of what it means to grow our own food.
Just as people have turned to organic foods for a healthy diet, consumers now understand that locally grown foods support small scale diversified farms, stimulate local economies, reduce transportation costs, and put fresher foods on the tables of more people at lower cost.
Some goals of Montgomery Community Gardens include:
1. identify and develop potential garden sites throughout Montgomery.
2. create partnerships around gardening among neighbors and civic organizations.
3. increase interest and participation in gardening throughout Montgomery.
4. create educational opportunities around gardening for children and youth.
If you are already growing your own food, congratulations ! If you want to start, get in touch with us and we'll help you get on your way.
Breezy Acres Farm
Mark Brouillette of Breezy Acres Farm in Montgomery generously invited the Montgomery Community Gardens to establish the first community garden in town at his farm.
Mark Brouilette and his uncle William Cabana discussed plans for the community garden during the Winter of 2005-2006. Their conversation revealed Mark and Billy's commitment to farming and their desire to play a part in educating people, especially children, about the importance of locally grown foods.
Through grants from the Vermont Community Gardens Network and other private foundations as well as donations made by individuals and area businesses, Montgomery Community Gardens was able to establish family garden plots at Breezy Acres Farm in Montgomery Village and gardening education programs at the High Ponds Farm in Hazen's Notch.
After hosting the community garden for four years, Mark Brouillette married in 2009. Together with his wife and daughter they decided that they needed to use the space previously dedicated to the community garden for their own use.
Riverwalk Community Garden
In 2010 some of the people who had been working garden plots on the Breezy Acres Farm sought a new site in Montgomery Village on town-owned land across the road from the Recreation Center at Riverwalk Park. The Town of Montgomery gave approval for the creation of garden plots at the intersection of Vermont Route 118 and West Hill Road. The garden was named Riverwalk Community Garden. The Riverwalk Community Garden served 18 families in 2011. Board members include Remi Gratton, Melissa Haberman, Wendy Howard, Parma Jewett and Martina Tesarova.
The Hazen's Notch Association has been providing gardening education programs to many children since 1994. Beginning the summer of 2006 the HNA partnered with Montgomery Community Gardens to expand gardening and food education to include a teaching garden at High Ponds Farm and Farm to School Agriculture in the Classroom programs for Montgomery Elementary School students.
Hazen's Notch Association
Community Teaching Garden
In 2007 the Hazen's Notch Association expanded its gardening education programs to include the gardens at the High Ponds Farm in Hazen's Notch.
Gardening education programs for parents and their children ages infant to 12 were offered twice each month from June through September. Families learn from experienced gardeners and educators about soils and seeds, transplants and compost, garden structures, weeding, watering and maintenance, garden pests, nature's garden, harvesting, cooking and other uses for plants.
In 2010 the Children's Garden at the Bear Paw Pond Conervation Area was re-designed and constructed by children ages 6-14 who were enrolled in the Hazen's Notch Association Summer Camp. In 2011 HNA Summer Camp campers planted, grew and harvested vegetables that were used in meals for the campers in Overnight Camp. Gardening Education programs for Families with Young Children took place at the Bear Paw Pond Conservation Area Garden, re-named the "Realm of Vegetables Garden" by the 2011 campers.
The Friends of Montgomery Community Gardens thank everyone who through their donations of time, energy, materials and money support community gardening in Montgomery.
Farm to School Program
The Farm to School program utilizes the Agriculture in the Classroom curricula developed by the Vermont Department of Agriculture and partner with Montgomery Elementary School, Montgomery Community Gardens, farmers and other food producers to bring food education to students in Montgomery Elementary School.
Food education programs started with 5th and 6th grade students in the Spring and Fall of 2006. Construction of the school garden started in the spring of 2007 after the landscaping associated with the new adddition to the school was completed. Food education programs have continued with assistance from members of the Covered Bridges Garden Club including Christa Chevalier, Lisa Perry, and MES Science teacher Sara Caldwell, under the direction of Wendy Howard, Montgomery Elementary School Food Services Director.
Community Gardening Resources|
If you are contemplating a community garden project for your town, there are many good resources for planning, organizing, starting and sustaining your garden.
Many established and successful community gardening programs exist throughout Vermont and in other states. Several of these provide helpful information through their websites and publications.
In Vermont a great place to start is the website of the
Friends of Burlington Gardens.
Outside of Vermont visit the
of Community Gardens.
For more information
For more information about gardening in Montgomery visit the websites of:
Hazen's Notch Association
is a member
It is a powerful act to galvanize people in a community around food production in this era of globalization.
Board of Directors