Gardens at the Haven

Photo Garden Web

This spring the Haven entered its 6th season of collaborating with the UVM Extension Master Gardeners (EMG). The Haven’s beautiful landscape, which combines edibles with ornamentals, is nothing short of welcoming and inspirational. Entering the doors of the Haven through a beautiful garden space can be the first of what is hopefully a series of steps to finding hope and discovering possibility. But the Haven campus is not just beautiful, it is productive. We now have two well-established asparagus beds, rhubarb, blueberries and raspberries, grapes and currents; there are apple, pear and plum trees, as well as several kitchen gardens with herbs and annual vegetables. The fruits and vegetables grown at the Haven are used in our shelters, and made available to the more than 1,100 families a month who visit our Food Shelf.

EMGs also use the Haven gardens as an informal classroom, teaching (and learning from) shelter guests, people who come to the Haven for services or meetings, and Haven neighbors.

This spring our EMGs took on a new project to support an essential resource of the Haven: the staff! Staff members of the Haven work tirelessly to address the needs of the most vulnerable members of our community, day in and day out. We believe that nourishing and enriching the Haven’s committed staff is essential to the Haven’s ability to respond to the needs of the community. EMGs transformed a hidden back corner of the Haven’s grounds and turned it into a beautiful staff retreat; a place for a quiet lunch or a moment of meditation during a busy day.

Pictured above is the living wall, a natural privacy screen, as well as several new flower beds planted to create a space for the staff to recharge. Our goal is to provide beauty, a sense of peace, and some much-needed privacy for the staff. Thank you for the Haven’s EMG project leaders, Jane Metcalf & Faith Alexandre!

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