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Events planned for Stroll Weekend (June 4-7) have been cancelled or postponed. Please read Executive Director Lissa Harris's full statement here.

The River Garden will be closed to the public until Vermont's Stay Home Stay Safe orders are lifted. At that time the staff will use the latest information from the Department of Health to determine if we should resume our regular open hours of Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. All Brown Bag Lunches and Vendor Expos will be rescheduled when it is safe to do so.

Visit or for the latest information.

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Farm-to-Table Culinary Apprenticeship Program

Interested in a career in the culinary field? Our Farm-to-Table Culinary Apprenticeship program is an 8-week training program designed to lead to permanent full-time positions at participating restaurants, institutional kitchens, and food manufacturers.

Photo by Kristopher Radder / Brattleboro Reformer Staff

Photo by Kristopher Radder / Brattleboro Reformer Staff

Now accepting applications for our next Culinary / Nutrition Training Program

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Program Starts

July 13, 2020

How To Apply

Fill out the online application below, OR

Fill out a printed application available at the River Garden, 157 Main Street, Brattleboro (leave application with Stroll staff at the River Garden), OR

Download and print the application here (PDF), fill it out, and deliver it to the River Garden, or mail to Strolling of the Heifers, 157 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301

Tuition: $2,500 (tuition assistance provided by VSAC, applicant must be VSAC eligible)


This program is for participants who meet income and employment status qualifications, including veterans.

Qualifications include:

  • A history of low income
  • A history of unemployment or underemployment
  • Serious interest in a culinary career
  • Willingness to commit to the program’s values, rules, and requirements

Final program candidates must be available for a personal interview.


The program includes instruction and practice in:

  • Food processing skills: Basic food preparation, knife safety, and techniques, kitchen safety, commercial dishwashing, culinary math skills, customer etiquette, nutrition, plating, and presentation, expediting, minimizing food wastage.
  • Introductory management skills: Including inventory and cost control.
  • Commercial food basics: Sanitation, cooking science, nutrition information, sourcing.
  • ServSafe food handler training: Successful completion provides ServSafe food handler certificate.
  • Local food systems and the value of maximizing use of local food.
  • Job readiness skills: Timeliness, cleanliness, grooming and appropriate dress, personal finance, time management, being supervised, resume building.
  • Work experience: Participants spend time gaining experience at local commercial kitchens or food manufacturers.
  • Therapeutic support: Group and individual sessions with a licensed counselor

Enrollment is limited to 12 persons.

Apprenticeship Partners

Participants in the first four graduating classes have apprenticed and secured full-time permanent positions at the following local restaurants, institutional kitchens, and food manufacturers: Against The Grain, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Brattleboro Food Coop, Brattleboro Retreat, Brattleboro Senior Meals, duo Restaurant, Entera Catering, New England House, Superfresh Cafe, The Marina, The Porch, The Restless Rooster, The Works, Thompson House, True North, Vermont Country Deli, Grafton Cheese, and Whetstone Station.

Program Success

To date, 40 highly-motivated but underemployed individuals have successfully completed the program and have been placed in permanent full-time positions at participating restaurants, institutional kitchens, and food manufacturers. The program effectiveness is underscored by our 83% graduation rate and 100% placement rate for graduates.

Program Funders

Sandy River Charitable Foundation • Sustainable Future Fund • Crosby-Gannette • Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) • Thompson Trust