Gardening Group Offering Free Seeds

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STAMFORD, Vt. — A local gardening organization is shifting its priorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For the past three years the Stamford Vermont Seed Savers has promoted gardening in the town by making seeds available to gardeners through an annual seed swap and by managing an educational garden at the local elementary school. This year, because of anticipated impacts of the pandemic on the economy and local food insecurity, the group's members are shifting their efforts toward growing food for those in need.  

Using emergency grant funding that was awarded by the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund, the Seed Savers are offering free seeds to town residents who want to plant a spring garden. 

"Having a garden is a great way to stay busy and engaged during this time of isolation and social distancing," said Stephen Greene, program coordinator. "It gives you something meaningful to do, and everyone in the family can get involved."

SVSS is encouraging people to grow food for their own households and to share their produce with the rest of the community as they are able. Those who want to get a jump on the season can contact SVSS to place a seed order to be picked up at the "potting shed" set up in a private garage. Materials for starting seeds in flats are also available. A pick-up time can be arranged by calling 802-694-1526. A list of available seeds can be found on the “Resources” page of their website.  

Stamford residents feeling inspired to start a new garden, but aren't sure how to get started, can either sign-up to manage a bed at the Stamford Community Garden or apply for a raised-bed to be delivered to their home with plants and seeds included. This final offer will be on a first-come-first-served basis for a limited number of beds. Interested parties should contact the SVSS by email or by calling 802 694-1526.

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SVHC Podiatry Residency Program Graduates Two

Cody Anderson and Kurt Malkames are shown with their certificates of completion.

BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southwestern Vermont Health Care has graduated two residents in the Podiatry Residency Program. 

At a small masked-and-distanced gathering of health system leadership, Cody Anderson and Kurt Malkames were awarded certificates of completion.

“It's tough to leave. The mountains are beautiful, and we made a lot of friends here," Anderson said. "I have enjoyed all of the people I have met and the tight-knit community."

"I had excellent training here, and I enjoyed it. I am appreciative of the staff for dedicating their time to my training," Malkames said.

Dr. Anderson will originate a hospital practice in a rural community in South Carolina, and Dr. Malkames will join a private practice in Silver Springs, Md.

"I am very proud of them. They did extremely well and are prepared to face all of the aspects of podiatric medicine and podiatric surgery," said William Sarchino, the program's director. "I wish them luck and encourage them to keep in touch as they progress in their careers. They are a part of the SVHC family."

Six residents are currently in the program. They are third-year residents Shazad Buksh and Breton Fox, second-year residents Kyle Lewis and Nathalie Santos, and first-year residents Daniel Hennessey and Daryl Silva.

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