February 2014 Newsletter

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Upcoming Events

Portland Flower Show (accepting submissions for a student essay contest with garden theme, due Feb 12): Mar 5-Mar 9

Maine Vegetables & Fruit School: Mar 10, 11

Maine Maple Sunday: Mar 23

Read ME Agriculture: Mar 24-28

Grow Your Own Organic Garden: Apr 2

Soil Science for Gardeners: Apr 15

Grants

Mantis Tiller due Mar. 7

Dole Garden Challenge due Mar. 12

Rising Tide Cooperative Community Fund due Mar. 15

Maine Agriculture in the Classroomdue Jun. 13

Networking

Does your school have a paid garden coordinator?  Are you interested in connecting with schools who have created this position?  

Please emailryan.fahey@maine.gov.

Find Us On Facebook!

We are now on Facebook - Like us to stay up to date with featured gardens, useful articles and the opportunity to share your ideas!

Time to Seed!

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The most exciting time of year is upon us - it's time to plant seeds!  You can start RIGHT NOW with onions, leeks, celery and thyme.  

Depending on where you are in Maine, you can start lettuce and brassica crops (think cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, etc) indoors between the middle of March and the early April.  

Nothing beats the smell of tomato seedlings growing in the greenhouse.  You can start planting those in mid April.  

Central Elementary School in South Berwick celebrates St. Patrick's Day with the "Planting of the Green," making class assignments of seed varieties into a schoolwide celebration. 

Use references in our Garden Resource - Seeds & Plantingsection to determine when your frost-free date is.  Then you can use the growing information on the back of your seed packages to schedule an appropriate seeding date on your calendar.  You can also use this seeding schedule.  

 

Free Seeds!

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 2.09.44 PMTell us about your garden program by participating in oursurvey and we will send you free seeds, courtesy of Johnny's Selected Seeds.  

We will share the results on our website and in a future newsletter.  The data will be especially helpful to schools who rely on grants to fund their garden program.  It will also help us document the growing movement of school gardens and offer more helpful services. Please take our survey by clicking on this link.  Thanks for your input!  We are excited to learn more about what your school garden program is up to!

Regional Gatherings

The MSGN is interested in offering outreach support in a new program of regional gatherings across the state.  Our state coordinator would organize events where school garden educators meet with each other and local resource organization representatives.  There would be opportunity for both casual conversation and networking, along with facilitated round table discussions and presentations.  Concerns, ideas and solutions raised at the gathering could then be presented to our statewide audience through our website and newsletter.  

We feel that encouraging these conversations and collaborations will propel the school garden movement to greater standards and outcomes by reducing the need for each program to reinvent the wheel and overcome similar challenges individually.  Your feedback on this proposed program would is welcomed.  Would you participate in such an event?  Would you be interested in hosting a gathering at your school?  Do you have any questions or concerns?  Please contact our coordinator at ryan.fahey@maine.gov.

 

Maine School Garden Days 2014

At Medomak Valley High School
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May 9th

"Heritage Seed Saving Program" with Neil Lash who has established the oldest high school seed saving program in the United States.

Limit 20 participants

Don't miss this event!

May 10th

Full day of tours, workshops and activities for teachers, volunteers and other educators interested in developing a school garden or working with an established program.