21-23 Murray Ave • Burlington, MA 01803 • (781)270-6625

People Helping People Victory Garden

The PHP Burlington Food Pantry has a goal that 30% of the food distributed should be fresh fruit and vegetables. The PHP Victory garden plays an important role in helping us meet this goal.

The garden is located behind the athletic fields by Francis Wyman Elementary School at 41 Terrace Hall Ave. Please park by the baseball fields and walk down the paved path to the left.

If you like gardening, come join our wonderful garden volunteers. Throughout the season, we are always looking for help to water, weed, and harvest. Periodically, there are additional larger projects that we need help with. To volunteer call the pantry at 781-270-6625 or email us at phpvictorygarden@gmail.com. Check out our Garden Facebook page for up to date happenings.

History of the Burlington Community Garden Complex

In 2013 the Town of Burlington started site Preparation for an agricultural education complex to demonstrate organic gardening techniques, water and chemical reduction, and energy-saving tools and systems that can be adopted by residents at their homes.  

The community garden recalls a practice of helping food-insecure citizens that dates back to the early 1800’s.

This town-wide project was initiated by the School Committee under the direction of their Science Center, with the support of the Board of Selectmen through the Engineering and Public Works Departments, and The Recreations Commission. 

The complex is located in the northwest corner of the Francis Wyman K-5 School, with access via Laurel Lane off Bedford Street to the North and the Francis Wyman School parking lot to the south. 

Site prior to clearing

Site clearing began is the summer of 2013, heavy equipment was used to level the site. Several hundred yards of loam (made available from the Marshall Simonds Middles School project) were sifted and spread over the community garden area.

Site cleared and leveled

110 yards of compost was purchased from the Town of Lexington Composting Center and spread across the entire garden complex

Site covered with compost

The Burlington community garden complex is unique to those of other towns in that it is comprised of three distinct activities; a volunteer “PHP Victory Garden” growing produce for the Food Pantry, leased plots for individuals and families that do not have growing space available at their residence, and a K-5 school garden.

Burlington is home to 25,936 people, 4,225 live in apartments and condominiums, and 372 of those people are students in our pre-K through 12 school system. (Requested current numbers from Amy Warfield) (Need to insert number of people serviced by yhr Food Pantry in 2014 and today)

In 2014, the first growing season, the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce adopted the complex and provided funding and support for fencing and a shed for the site.

The area of the complex currently under cultivation is just under one-half acres. Each garden is managed by a different entity and maintenance is a cooperative effort of the Burlington Parks and Recreation Department and volunteers.

Volunteer hilling potatoes in the Food Pantry garden

The garden complex has been managed organically since inception. An initial supply of compost (55 yards) was provided by the School Administration. We compost all of our garden waste and in 2020 constructed five compost bins that are shared with the lease plot gardeners.

We embrace organic gardening practices and do not use herbicides, pesticides or manufactured fertilizers

Finished compost ready for use

Since inception, and with the help of our volunteers, the harvests from the food pantry garden have increased from just over 600 pounds to 2,500 pounds in 2019. That increase was obtained through soil management (continually incorporating organic matter into the soil) and sanitation (weeding beds and mulching pathways) to reduce insect and disease problems.