From Garden to Table

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Michael Clogston, a guest at Hixon House, uses cabbage freshly harvested from the garden in his dinner preparation for other guests.

This gardening season marks our fourth year of working to create an edible landscape at the Haven. Volunteers from the UVM’s Extension Master Gardener (EMG) Program have been working hard to educate those using the Haven services about growing some of their own food using our gardens as the classroom. Guided by Jane Metcalf, our lead Master Gardener, our volunteers are bringing food from the garden to the table; we have two well-established asparagus beds; rhubarb, cherry, plum, apple, and pear trees; blueberries and raspberries; as well as three kitchen gardens. The food that is grown on our campus is used in the meals served at Hixon House, and also distributed through our Food Shelf.

This year, thanks to the students in the Building Trades Program at Hartford Area Career and Tech Center (HACTC), we introduced container gardening to our project. The students built nine containers that we have placed around our campus to use as a demonstration of how to grow food even without adequate yard space of one’s own. In the mini containers you will see an abundance of tomatoes, lettuces, peppers and herbs which Haven staff and volunteers have been picking for fresh salads shared at Hixon House during lunch time.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of EMG volunteering at the Haven is the opportunity to share my knowledge about gardening. We have a tremendous opportunity to educate both the shelter guests and the people who come to the food shelf about what can be done on a small plot of land to add to their food supply and their nutrition.” -EMG Volunteer Gardener


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