Rock Point Gardens

About Rock Point Gardens

Rock Point has a several-hundred-year history of farming, logging and gardening and today is no exception. Although there are personal and pocket gardens located throughout the property, the most noticeable are the series of specific gardens that appear as one drives down the entrance road between the Rock Point School and the Diocesan Office Building.

 

The Rock Point vision includes “environmental stewardship” as a strong value, as well as “community” and “education.” Gardening at Rock Point means organic – not certified, but practiced – which means chemical, pesticide and herbicide free, and working in harmony with the seasons and the soil. It means being sure that each garden provides for the hungry by growing something to contribute to The Partners’ Pantry (a volunteer ministry that preserves food and seasonings for the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf to distribute during the winter, when fresh, seasonal produce is scarce or nonexistent). It means being sure that habitat for pollinators and Rock Point’s wildlife is ensured. The gardens at Rock Point include:

  • A school garden that provides food for the Rock Point School;

  • A medicinal herb garden that provides intern and apprenticeships as well as herbal products;

  • A nursery garden growing plants for specific purposes (such as the pollinator meadow);

  • A pollinator meadow replacing the unkempt field under the solar trackers, and its accompanying demonstration garden with volunteer docents;

  • The Homeward Bound permaculture garden;

  • The Microfarm managed by a farmer providing microgreens for sale;

  • The Community Gardens, managed by Burlington Parks, Recreation and Waterfront.

 

In the center of the gardens are an outdoor kitchen/classroom, cob oven, and hoop house. Further down the road are a young orchard and old apple trees. Mixed throughout are Rock Point’s blackberries, used by those who live on the property and The Partners’ Pantry. There are many volunteer opportunities here, both official and unofficial, from work days and groups to Rock Point’s Pollinator Docents and Garden Keepers.

 

Rock Point Pollinator Project

 

Rock Point’s 35-tracker solar “farm”, situated on 2 ½ acres, is the largest in Burlington, and on any religious land in Vermont. Since 2011, the installation has provided over 100% of all the electricity used on Rock Point. Until now, the field underneath this solar array has been growing wild with invasives and weeds. Working in partnership with Bee the Change we are undertaking a multi-year process of converting Rock Point’s solar field into a pollinator-friendly meadow. Watch the video to learn more about this project.

 

The Partners' Pantry

 

In the spring of 2015, Homeward Bound Collective partnered with the Rock Point Intentional Community to create The Partners’ Pantry. The Partners’ Pantry, funded by Stirrings of the Spirit, is a program that operates out of Rock Point and works to grow and preserve food for the Chittenden Emergency Food Bank. With the help of many volunteers, we put by a total of 87 bags of frozen produce and 106 pints of pickled or canned food... plus 15 pints of Chuck’s raw honey (and 48 more small jars for their clients to take home with them). But of course, it all started in the garden...

 

Burlington Area Community Gardens

 

For more than 40 years, Rock Point has been a site for Burlington Area Community Gardens (BACG), which is part of Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront. We encourage you to visit the BACG website if you are interested in learning more about this community gardening program.