GrowTeams, our collective community gardening program, empowers individuals to reclaim their food sovereignty by providing access to land, tools, mentorship, and team to share the garden work. Everyone has a right to reconnect with their ancestral intelligence and agency in producing food for themselves, but many of us are prohibited from growing food due to lack of land, start up costs, and know how.
Interested in joining a GrowTeam for this upcoming Spring, Summer and Fall? Learn about the current sites below and sign up today!
2022 GrowTeam Sites
Interested in joining a GrowTeam for this upcoming Spring, Summer and Fall? Learn about the current sites, get to know our garden mentors and sign up today.
BIPOC GrowTeam | Winooski, VT
The BIPOC GrowTeam is made by and for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Vermonters to engage with Afro-Indigenous practices and ways of growing food for themselves and their communities. BIPOC GrowTeam members will participate in art, social and educational programming, field trips, workshops, and foster community with other BIPOC-Vermonters and leaders in food and land stewardship work all while growing food together!
There are two ways to participate in the BIPOC GrowTeam: the Fellowship or the Volunteer Crew.
Our BIPOC Grow Team Fellowship runs for 2 weekends a month, from June – September 2022. Each fellow will earn $2800 during the fellowship, meals provided each day, workshops from outside community members, as well as free organic food and plant medicinals grown on the homestead to share. Our fellowship grants BIPOC-Vermonters the opportunity to be financially compensated for their leadership in building community food and land sovereignty.
Our BIPOC Grow Team Volunteer Crew runs from June – September 2022 with an expectation that volunteers offer support for a minimum of 4 hours per month.
Each volunteer will earn the equivalent of a Conscious Homestead Seed Membership, with discounts to the herbal botanica and merchandise shops, discounts to Conscious Homestead events and offerings, as well as free community care shares and free BIPOC care packages.
Interested in supporting the BIPOC GrowTeam at Conscious Homstead? Buy a ShiftMeals Art Hoodie or Donate here.
Co-op Victory Garden | Burlington, VT
The Co-op Victory Garden is a collectively-tended garden where shared access to land and resources, intensive growing techniques, and a mentorship program empower people to grow a lot of food on a small plot of land. A wide variety of vegetables, herbs, flowers, and small fruits are grown by and for co-op members. Vermont Garden Network oversees aspects of garden management such as sourcing materials, guiding the planting calendar, coordinating work days, and mentoring co-op members so that they can focus on growing nourishing food for themselves and their community. We have arrived at this model of collective community gardening after many years of trialing different management styles. We are grateful to ShiftMeals for their support over the past two years to fund programming at the Co-op Victory Garden and partner with us to envision what collective gardening can look like. This year we are transitioning to membership-based fees, while still being able to offer generous scholarships thanks to ShiftMeals’ ongoing support.
The Co-op Victory Garden is located on unceded Abenaki land within the Tommy Thompson Community Garden, at the Intervale, in Burlington. We are inspired by the organic and regenerative farming movements, principles of agroecology, and market gardening to tend to our 2,000 square feet of production space. And we are very fortunate to count on the city’s community garden infrastructure to facilitate our access to water, a picnic shelter, and perennial landscaping that includes fruit trees and pollinator habitat.
We are welcoming Full and Seasonal Co-op Members for the 2022 growing season! All are welcome, come join us on a flexible schedule to garden in community.
To learn more about Membership, please download and read this pdf.
Fill out this form to register for the membership with the Coop Victory Garden.
Questions? Please connect with Carolina – [email protected]
Looking for other collective gardening opportunities in Vermont? View our list of current gardens!
The Origin of GrowTeams
GrowTeams sprung up in direct response to the ways we saw COVID-19 disrupt our communities’ access to food. Grocery store shelves were empty and many of us faced economic constraints that deepened anxiety about how we would feed ourselves. Plus with some many of us facing unemployment and social isolation, we were eager for a hopeful project, in collaboration with others, that could provide healthy, fresh food for our families and neighbors. The pandemic created a perfect opportunity for everyone to grow food and why not do it together on a team?
Gardening on a team, or a GrowTeam, has so many benefits. Together we can share the inputs of gardening like labor, knowledge, tools, land, and seeds, which makes gardening easier and more accesible, especially for those with limited resources. In exchage our gardens grow extra bountiful and we are then able to share in BIG harvests.
While collective gardening is great for all kinds of people, our original inspiration for GrowTeams was the hard working members of the food service community.
Service-industry workers in Vermont make up one of the largest occupations, yet have one of the lowest-average income earnings. Service-industry jobs often do not have benefits, lack job stability and/or accessible schedules. These preexisting issues have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and have shown that we must do more to protect our local service-industry workers. By engaging folx already working within Vermont’s food system, we aim to increase local food security by providing more community-access to land, as well as knowledge on how to grow bountiful produce from the garden.
In 2020, we were able to:
- Get over 100 pairs of hands into the earth at 7 different farms and gardens across the state of Vermont.
- Receive plant starts and seed donations from 17 different farms!
- Support 16 different community partners using produce to provide fresh food and meals to their communities.
- Host 8 educational workshops for GrowTeam members from medicine making to pickling and hot sauce making!
- Help grow and harvest over 50,000 pounds of produce!
To learn more about last year’s impact, view our GrowTeams 2020 report.
“I want to grow my own food forever, and teach others. I feel 100% more comfortable growing food. I eat cleaner and pay more attention to what I am eating.”