Garden Spotlight: Charlotte Central School

by Deirdre Holmes, Farm to School and Charlotte Central School Garden

This year has been different for so many reasons, but various things have recently fallen into place for the Charlotte School garden and it feels like there is more interest, need and use for the garden than ever.  

Due to a combination of several things: greater need in the community, the food shelf open every week now, a new food service structure within the school district which includes a K-8 district food service director, a new head chef at Charlotte Central School, and the free school meals program being extended through the summer, a wonderful opportunity presented itself for the school garden to be used directly in the food service program and the community again.  We planted it full of vegetables and in no time attracted a group of eager garden volunteers to help weed and water.  Additionally, the school board has expressed an interest in collaborating more closely with the town food shelves, so there’s a fabulous synergy of school and town coming together around local gardens to support our communities with fresh garden produce.

As of early July, I’ve connected with the volunteer gardeners at Hinesburg Community School and Shelburne Community School. We’ve been able to share ideas and spare seeds and seedlings, and get those three gardens in our district (Champlain Valley School District) planted. With the help of eager community volunteers, we’ll contribute to the summer school meals program, and to our town food shelves throughout the summer and into the fall. There are early plans in the works to process garden produce with a short shelf life to make it easier for the schools and food shelves to use it later in the year. 

Skip to content