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Learn to Garden for Your Health

Primary Care and Nutrition Services at The UVM Medical Center are pleased to offer guided instruction for the workshops with technical and program assistance from local partner, the Vermont Community Garden Network. Funding for this program has been provided by the UVM Medical Center Foundation.

Join UVM Medical Center's nutrition and gardening experts for Gardening for Health. Located at UVM Medical Center's Main Campus Rooftop Garden, this free, nine-week program offers you the opportunity to learn how gardening can improve your health!

Program Details

The Gardening for Health Program runs for a total of nine weeks, starting in early June. 

The program includes:

  • Five small group workshops held at the UVM Medical Center Main Campus, Rooftop Garden
  • Four at-home activities relating to lessons learned in the garden
  • Program notebook containing gardening lessons and activities, recipes and nutrition education and physical activity guides

On-site workshops at the Rooftop Garden will meet every other week, on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5 pm - 7 pm.

The on-site workshops will include a light physical and mindfulness activity, gardening instruction and nutrition education, with time for questions and discussion.

Eligible participants should be able to commit to the full nine-week program which will require access to the internet for at-home activities and email communications.

Who Can Join?

This program is for beginner and novice gardeners. Participants must also be a UVM Medical Center patient with at least one of the following conditions:

  • Pre-diabetes
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight

UVM Medical Center employees who qualify are also welcome.

How Much Does the Program Cost?

There is no cost for this program. All supplies and program materials are provided.

This program is generously supported by: UVM Medical Center Foundation, UVM Medical Center Primary Care, UVM Medical Center Nutrition Services and Vermont Community Garden Network.

How Do I Sign Up?

If you're interested in this fun opportunity to help improve your physical and mental health, please ask your health care provider if this program is right for you.

We are offering four nine-week sessions of this program in 2021. Sign up for the session that best fits your schedule below.

Session 1

Every other Tuesday, June 1 to July 27, 5-7pm.

> Sign Up Now

Session 2

Every other Thursday, June 3 to July 29, 5-7pm.

> Sign Up Now

Session 3

Every other Tuesday, June 8 to August 3, 5-7pm.

> Sign Up Now

Session 4

Every other Thursday, June 10 to August 5, 5-7pm.

> Sign Up Now

Hear what previous attendees have to say:

"Before, I saw gardening as just a hobby. Now I see it as a way to get healthier."

"I didn't know what to expect, but it was like lights went on in my head, with the encouragements given on engaging in tree appreciation, birds and mindfulness."

"[This class] reminded me how easy and simple preparing healthy food can be!"

"I found myself motivated to eat more fresh food and incorporate different vegetables into breakfast and snacks where I might not have opted to prior to taking this class."

"I learned so much more than gardening."

"I don't tell people that I'm just taking a gardening class. I joke that this has become my therapy session, my workout space, a place for new friendships, a meditation space, and of course a place where I learn how to grow things."

COVID-19 safety protocols for the Gardening for Health program:

  1. All participants will need to engage in entrance health screenings prior to making their way to the Rooftop Garden.
  2. Do not enter the garden if you are sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  3. All frequently touched surfaces, tools and equipment will be cleaned and disinfected at the beginning and end of each class.
  4. All participants must maintain a minimum physical distancing of 6' from others.
  5. All participants must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth.
  6. Hand sanitizer will be available.
  7. Shared tools will be disinfected between each use.