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Non-Profit Strives To Increase Public Access To Community Gardens

Vermont Community Garden Network

A Vermont non-profit that strives to provide public access to community gardens around the state is holding a big fund-raising meal this Saturday, called “Feast for the Gardens.” The Vermont Community Garden Network is hoping the proceeds will help as well with its overall goal of cultivating and sustaining community gardens.

Jessica Hyman, executive director of the Vermont Community Garden Network, works to increase access to and awareness of gardening resources in the state. She says about 15 percent of Vermonters get some food from a home or community garden.

Among those who aren’t gardening, Hyman says there is a misconception that gardening is expensive. But she says the product can outweigh any upfront costs.

“A packet of seeds can cost two dollars, and from that packet of seeds you can grow hundreds of dollars worth of produce.” says Hyman

“Growing our own food, whether it be in a community garden or your own garden, is actually a great way not just to save money, but have more fresh, healthy, local food than you might have otherwise,” Hyman says.

Hyman advises novice gardeners to get started, even if they lack confidence in their abilities.

“If you take a seed, put it in the ground and give it some water, light, and a little bit of love, something with grow,” says Hyman. “You don’t need to focus on having the biggest tomatoes or the most carrots.”

The Vermont Community Garden Network is holding a fundraising event this Saturday at the Intervale Center.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
Annie Russell was VPR's Deputy News Director. She came to VPR from NPR's Weekends on All Things Considered and WNYC's On The Media. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School.
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