In the Spring of 2019 UVLT started the Brookmead Food Pantry Garden at Brookmead Conservation Area in Norwich, VT. The garden was created so that UVLT could use the land we own to serve the whole community by growing food that would be donated to Willing Hands and distributed to our neighbors in need. By planting the garden at Brookmead we wanted to continue our mission of bringing people together to conserve land that makes our communities more resilient, healthy, and sustainable for all.
In 2019 we planted ⅛ of an acre of winter storage crops that Willing Hands told us were most needed. We managed this garden using mainly volunteer labor and all the produce was donated to Willing Hands. In our first year we harvested almost 1/2 a ton of produce!
In 2020 and in light of the skyrocketing need for food assistance in our Valley due to Covid-19, UVLT committed to growing ¾ of an acre, the whole field and 6 times as many vegetables as the previous year. We were confident that the Upper Valley is a resilient community that can come together to create local solutions and help each other in times of need. In the 2020 growing season we grew, harvested, and donated 3,500 lbs of produce to Willing Hands!
In 2021 UVLT plans to expand the Brookmead garden to add crops and partner with the Abenaki Land Link program, a program begun by the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk-Abenaki Nation who partnered with Rooted in Vermont and NOFA-VT. As a partner in this program UVLT will receive indigenous seeds from the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk-Abenaki Nation. UVLT will grow these vegetables and donate the produce and seeds back to the Nulhegan Band for the exclusive use of Abenaki citizens. More information on this project can be found here.
In addition to expanding the size and scope of the Brookmead Garden, UVLT is expanding the garden program down to the Claremont/Charlestown region, with a new garden space at Up on the Hill in Charlestown, NH. At this garden we will be partnering with the Claremont Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry, all vegetables from the garden will go to them to serve food insecure people in the Claremont area.
If you would like more information about the food pantry garden please e mail Programs Director Alison Marchione at email@example.com.
The Brookmead Garden is close to one acre of vegetable gardens located at 701 Turnpike Road in Norwich, VT. We grow a variety of mainly winter storage crops that are donated to Willing Hands for distribution as well as working with the Abenaki Land Link project described above.
Community work days at the Brookmead Garden are generally every Tuesday evening 3-7pm during the growing season (May through October). Date and time are subject to some variation. Volunteers are invlved in all aspects of the garden work including prepping soil, planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting vegetables under the supervision of UVLT staff.
New this year! The pilot year of the Up on the Hill Food Pantry Garden begins in May of 2021. The Up on the Hill garden is a 5,000 square foot plot where we are growing a variety of spring, summer, and fall veggies for the Claremont Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry.
Community volunteer work days will generally be held every Thursday from 3-7pm but are subject to some change and variation. Volunteers are responsible for helping with all aspects of garden work including prepping soil, planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting under the supervision of UVLT staff.
Until such time as state regulations change, UVLT volunteers are required to follow all covid procedures and guidelines including wearing a mask on site, wiping down all tools with disinfectant, and social distancing.
Thank You to Our Partners:
Claremont Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry
With generous funding from:
Norwich Women’s Club
Norwich Lions Club
NH Charitable Grant
Feed and Supply
High Mowing Seeds