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Center for Agricultural Economy teams up with Lamoille Housing Partnership to build garden beds for residents

In a first joint effort of two local nonprofits, residents at Maple Street Apartments in Hardwick, owned by Lamoille Housing Partnership, have new raised garden beds so they can grow their own food. Seven of the 16 residents at Maple Street participated and were planting vegetable starts donated by Riverside Farm and Gibou Gardens as soon as the beds were filled with a rich mixture of compost and topsoil.

Hazen Union High School teacher Sean McIntyre rallied a crew of half a dozen student volunteers to help residents, adult volunteers, and carpenter Caleb Gwinn work on the community service project organized by the Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE). The project came about because Maple Street apartment residents have been using raised beds at the Hardwick Community Gardens at Atkins Field which is owned by CAE, but some of the residents do not have transportation. Health issues can make the long walk difficult or impossible. The project was paid for by a grant from the Block Family Foundation.

Garden beds are also planned for Lower Cherry Street apartments, another property owned by Lamoille Housing Partnership in Hardwick. Lamoille Housing Partnership provides affordable housing, and CAE works to create and bolster food systems and food independence.

In the photo, left to right, are Nancy Kellogg, Mike Dickson, CAE Garden Manager Julie Nichols, Hazen students Noah Friend, Nate Moulton, Shyann Dimick, Hazen teacher Sean McIntyre, student Evan Brennan-Hess, Hardwick Area Food Pantry Executive Director Ruby Dale-Brown, and students John Langmaid and Peyton Hill. Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar, CAE Community Programs Manager