Burlington Garden Club: Growing and Giving SB Harvest Donated to the Emergency Food Shelf

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Thursday September 11, 2014

Members of the Burlington Garden Club volunteer their time every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the growing season to help harvest vegetables from Grandma and Grandpa’s Garden at the Wheeler Nature Park located at 1100 Dorset Street in South Burlington. This dedicated group comes rain or shine, and donates all vegetables harvested in the garden to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf in Burlington. During the 2013 season, they donated over400 lbs. of produce. This year, donations have totaled 484 lbs., surpassing the amount from last year, and they are still harvesting weekly.

Master Gardener interns from the UVM Extension Master Gardener Program assist members in this and other gardens at the park. Other helpers include Paul Steinman, and David Methot, who works in the Department of Public Works for the City of South Burlington. Occasionally, families with young children also offer their assistance with the harvest. The volunteers are also responsible for planting and regular maintenance in the garden. Helping hands are appreciated on Thursdays, anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome!
Grandma and Grandpa’s Garden

Grandma and Grandpa’s Garden at the nature park is just one of several civic beautification projects at which the garden club members volunteer. This garden, established in 2002, has heirloom shrubs, perennials, annuals, and vegetables and has been a club project since that time. The garden was originally designed to include plants that were characteristic of gardens from the 1800’s through the early 1900’s. Club President Jan DeSarno has coordinated this project from its beginning.

Butterfly Garden

Sited near Grandma and Grandpa’s Garden is the Butterfly Garden, another garden club project that members help to plant and maintain. The garden is actually in the shape of a rather large butterfly. This garden was created to help educate the public on how to attract butterflies and their larvae. The original butterfly garden was first established in 1994 and located at the Williston exit of I89. However, when the parking lot at that exit was expanded, relocation was necessary. The Butterfly Garden was re-established at the Wheeler Nature Park in 2000, and continues to be well maintained and admired by visitors. Club member Nancy Bell, has been coordinator of this garden since 2009.

The Burlington Garden Club presents programs about the environment, flower arranging, and other gardening topics that are free and open to the public. They are held in September, October, February, March, and April at 1:15 at the Faith United Methodist Church at 899 Dorset Street, South Burlington. The next scheduled meeting is Tuesday, September 23, 2014. New members are welcome!. Beside participation in club projects and programs, other membership benefits include tours and various educational workshops. For further information contact Jan DeSarno at jandesarno@gmail.com or 802-372-4058.