Growing Strong: Nonprofit creates economic, environmental change

Cristina Sandolo of the Green Village Initiative talks with Kate Czaplinski about the nonprofit and its upcoming Harvest Booze and Bites events.

The Bridgeport-based GVI supports community and school gardens, while creating economic and educational opportunities in the city.

GVI has now completed two farms, the Wakeman Town Farm and Reservoir Community Farm which is in a more urban setting. Recently, most of GVI's focus has been on the urban setting of Bridgeport, CT in an effort to provide real opportunity for community evolution. Reservoir Community Farm has over one hundred raised garden beds, with a USDA-funded high tunnel. It was built by volunteers from the community and is staffed by a team of over 30 regional college interns and Bridgeport high school interns under the direction of a professional farmer. In addition to continuing to provide fresh produce to the Bridgeport Public School System, it serves as the ‘hub’ of a network of 30+ GVI-built school gardens, and provides them with support, seedlings, and educational opportunities. Additional farm produce is sold at affordable pricing to the local community through the Farm Stand and wholesale to local restaurants.    

By harnessing the passion and talent within our community, GVI has been instrumental in helping Ridgefield become the first town in Connecticut with an edible garden in every school.