Springfield Senior Gardens
In 2013, VINE Sanctuary sponsored a community garden at a senior public housing complex in Springfield, Vermont. VINE sprang for the materials to construct raised beds, provided compost from our own heaps, and also bought seeds and seedlings. VINE volunteers (including youths and adults) did the heavy lifting of setting up beds and constructing trellises and then continued to visit throughout the season, weeding and harvesting under the tutelage of the skilled gardeners in residence. Produce from the garden was free to all residents, whether or not they elected to participate. VINE volunteers shared recipes and cooking tips with any residents who were uncertain how to make the most of any of the vegetables in the garden.
VINE Sanctuary (a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation) seeks a Sow It Forward grant to maintain that garden as well as to start a similar garden at another local low-income housing site serving seniors and people with disabilities. Grant funds would go for the materials for raised beds as well as for tools to leave on site, so that community members who are physically able can work in the garden in between visits from volunteers.
The purposes of these garden projects are numerous and include the following: (1) increase access to fresh produce (and, therefore, food security) among low-income seniors in Springfield; (2) increase the overall well-being of seniors living in low-income housing, by providing the soothing sight of a blooming garden as well as the opportunity to exercise their gardening skills; (3) facilitate the cross-generational transfer of regional gardening expertise.
[Notes: Since we saw our 2013 garden as a community service rather than a publicity opportunity, we did not think to take many photographs. We promise more and better pictures for 2014! Sqare footage & people served is for both existing and proposed gardens.]
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
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Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA